Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/480/2231
Save our schools
ON 22 March, Suffolk county council voted to close 40 schools after deciding to change to a two-tier system and remove middle schools. 400 parents, pupils and teachers had protested in Bury St Edmunds to try and save the three-tier system and stop schools closing.
Frankie Langeland, Bury St Edmunds
Another protest was held outside the county council offices in Ipswich but the Tory-dominated council voted for the change. All 40 middle schools will close. In this rural area, village primary schools ensure that children get an education near where they live. These schools could not cope with expansion and would be at risk of closure, making children travel into the towns to be taught. This is devastating enough without the lost jobs.
Upper Schools also have sixth forms on site which will be lost in the move to a two-school system. Proposals for a privately run sixth-form centre in Ipswich are already on the table. Will this be repeated across the county as the move to 'reform' education speeds up?
Suffolk council have made no plans for what the new structure will look like. This will be chosen now the council has decided to close the schools.
How can they possibly know that the new education system would be better than the existing one if they don't even know what the new system is?
I was working at a middle school when the council's sham consultation process started. Forms originally promised to be delivered to every Suffolk household were handed out via schools at the end of summer term within days of the submission date. Poorly advertised public meetings were then held in the summer holidays, making it harder for schools to get parents to attend and for pupils, parents and teachers to organise a mass campaign.
The three-tier system does not offer the perfect education. It still lets down pupils and teachers just as the two-tier system. But the cuts to 40 schools, loss of jobs and these policies being rushed through the back door adds to the growing list of attacks on education and public services.
The Socialist Party fights for a free and decent education for all pupils. Parents, teachers and pupils should unite to beat this brutal attack on our education system.
In The Socialist 29 March 2007:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
What we think
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party feature
Northern Ireland agreement
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news