THE future of the school system in Redditch will be under discussion today, Friday, with a number headteachers expected to break away from the three tier system and opt for two tier instead.
In a series of meetings organised by MP Karen Lumley, heads will be invited to talk about which direction they see their school going in with the regional schools commissioner Pank Patel.
Up until last year Redditch had an established three tier system of infants, from ages 5 to 9, middle from ages 9 to 13 and secondary schools from ages 13 to 16 or 18 but all that changed when Woodrow-based Tudor Grange Academy – which is run from Solihull – successfully applied to bring in a two tier system running from junior school, from ages 5 to 12, and a secondary school from ages 12 to 16 or 18.
Mrs Lumley, who was herself educated under the two tier system, said: “What this is about is getting the best for the children.
“Now we are in a situation where schools can decide on their own future and Friday will give them an opportunity to discuss the options available with Pank Patel.”
Ridgeway Middle School has already expressed a desire to develop into a secondary school and Mrs Lumley said she expected more to follow suit.
“I believe that there is a place in the town for both the three tier and a two tier system, however as we move forward other schools are declaring their intentions and questions they might like to ask are – is there money available to do this? How are they expected to move on?”
She added that there was money – Redditch had received one of the biggest shares of the regional grant in the country – and for those interested it was now a question of putting together a bid for change.
“The Commissioner is aware of the strength of feeling in Redditch about the proposed age range changes,” she said.
“I have made clear from the start that local people must be consulted and that a collaborative approach is absolutely required.”