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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 March 2007

Suffolk

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.

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In The Socialist 29 March 2007:

Council workers fight pay cut scandal

The 'Single Status' scandal

Council unions reject 2% pay offer

Fighting cuts and privatisation

Stop council's sell-off plans


Socialist Party NHS campaign

PUSH for mass demo


What we think

A simple conclusion from a 'simplification' budget


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tenants defeat housing sell-off

Universities fail to accept state school pupils

Suffolk: Save our schools

London Olympics: Big business bonanza - and we pay

Fast News


Socialist Party election campaign

For the millions, not the millionaires


Socialist Party feature

Hands off our postal service!

Edinburgh postal workers fight back

Workers' fightback to defend postal services


Northern Ireland agreement

Will the new agreement last?

We Won't Pay anti-water charges demo 31 March


International socialist news and analysis

Italy: What future for Prc?

Turkish state attacks Kurdish protestors


Socialist Party workplace news

Airbus walkout - joint action needed across Europe

Reject regional pay

Determined campaigners win reprieve

Manchester Unity Stewards and activists group

Hants library workers fight cuts

Sacked electricians win tribunal ruling

Ealing workers fight pay cuts


 

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