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School battler brands county 'criminal'

PUBLISHED: 08:17 07 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:15 07 July 2010

A Suffolk county councillor called his own local authority “criminal” as he launched a campaign to save a school in Brandon.

Education chiefs have begun a public consultation exercise which could see the adoption of a two-tier system and the closure of 40 middle schools across the county.

A Suffolk county councillor called his own local authority “criminal” as he launched a campaign to save a school in Brandon.

Education chiefs have begun a public consultation exercise which could see the adoption of a two-tier system and the closure of 40 middle schools across the county.

But a campaign is growing to save Breckland Middle School, in Brandon, which parents, governors, teachers and residents say plays an important role in the community.

Bill Bishop, local county councillor, has now started a petition against the Suffolk County Council plans, which has already generated more than a thousand signatures since the weekend.

Under the local authority's proposals, five middle schools are expected to close in west Suffolk by 2011, which will affect 1,500 pupils.

Campaigners are concerned that hundreds of children over the age of 11 will have to travel to Mildenhall to continue their education and 28 administrative and support staff could lose their jobs if Breckland Middle School closes.

Mr Bishop added that under the county council proposals, Forest Community Primary School and Glade Primary School in Brandon would increase their capacity by 50pc, but no indication has been made as to how the schools would accommodate the extra students.

“My petition is to save the three-tier school system and keep education in Brandon and at the very heart of the community. Petitions do carry weight and I am encouraging as many mothers, fathers and grandparents to sign it and go to the three meetings at the schools.

“What they [Suffolk County Council] is doing is bloody criminal. Breckland Middle is at the heart of the community and hosts a youth club, concerts and drama productions,” he said.

Public meetings are set to take place at Forest Community Primary on October 14 at 6.30pm, Breckland Middle School from 6pm on October 20 and Glade Primary on November 13 at 6.30pm.

The consultation in west Suffolk runs until Monday December 15.

Mr Bishop can be contacted at 01842 810541.


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