Councillors vote to retain the three-tier system

PUBLISHED: 16:40 13 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:28 06 May 2010

BEDFORDSHIRE County Council today (Thursday) voted to retain the three-tier system of lower, middle and upper schools in the county at a meeting of the full council. It had been widely expected that the council would accept a recommendation from its execu

BEDFORDSHIRE County Council today (Thursday) voted to retain the three-tier system of lower, middle and upper schools in the county at a meeting of the full council.

It had been widely expected that the council would accept a recommendation from its executive committee to adopt a two-tier system leaving the county with only primary and secondary schools.

It was feared many lower, middle and upper schools would have closed if the two-tier system had been rubber stamped.

Since the executive decision there had been growing opposition from schools, parents and pupils as well as Mid Beds MP Nadine Dorries to the proposals.

The decision was a big blow for council leader Cllr Madeline Russell who only said yesterday: "Thursday's meeting is the climax of nearly a year of work by the working group that made the recommendation to move to two tiers. I hope that the county council will back this move."

The council also voted to accept an amendment that proposes an action plan designed to improve standards at all Bedfordshire schools and raise standards to the average achieved by comparable authorities at Key Stage Four (16-years-old).

Progress will be monitored through a performance management structure. The county council will review progress in late 2009.

Cllr Rita Drinkwater, cabinet member for education, said: "We have accepted the view of the county council on school structures and will now be getting on with implementing the amended recommendations."

Ray Payne, head teacher of Henlow Middle School said: "I, my staff and the children are ecstatic. Councillors listen to pupils, parents and the schools. This is a great victory for deomracy.


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