THE three-tier education system in Redditch has been torn up after two schools were given permission to adopt the two tier-system.
Both Tudor Grange Academy Redditch and Ridgeway Middle School have been given the go-ahead by the Regionals Schools Commissioner.
It means that Tudor Grange Academy Redditch would take pupils from the age of 11 instead of 13 from September 2016 from feeder primary schools, which in turn would have pupils up to Year 6.
The current system in the borough has first schools from Year 1 to 4, middle schools from Year 5-8 and high schools up to the age of 16 or older with a sixth form.
Ridgeway Middle School meanwhile would move from providing education to nine to 13-year-olds and teach pupils aged 11 to 16. It will still take in Years 5 and 6 children until at least 2018/19.
But the changes are expected to send shock waves through the borough’s education system.
Almost 3,000 people signed a petition to prevent the proposals at Tudor Grange from going forward after the Redditch School Changes Facebook Group was launched, while Joy Vater, deputy of Walkwood Middle School, warned the move had the potential to cause a ‘tsunami’ across the borough.
Other schools also reacted to the plans, including Webheath Academy First School and Astwood Bank Academy First School which looked into the prospect of expanding into larger primary schools.
Tudor Grange principal Rose Rees said the school was focused on continuing its work with students to help them achieve their best possible outcomes.
She added they would also work with schools in the pyramid and prospective parents to ensure a smooth transition of Year 7 and 9 students.
“The governors recognise that this consultation has been difficult for all parties,” she said.
“There is now open dialogue between all schools in the pyramid and all have made their commitment to the provision of an outstanding education for all students within our community.”
A spokeswoman from Ridgeway Middle School said they appreciated the last ten months had been difficult for everyone linked to the school as well as the wider community.
“We would like to take this opportunity to reassure parents that, as throughout this process to date, there will be no immediate apparent change or disruption to the children currently in our school,” she added.
“We will continue to work with local schools in the pyramid and further afield.”