‘THE parents will decide’ – that’s the verdict of MP Karen Lumley as Redditch gets set to embark on the introduction of a two tier education system to run alongside the current three tier operation.
Her verdict comes as new figures show that 94 per cent of Redditch’s schools across all phases were judged either good or outstanding for overall effectiveness by Ofsted compared with the national figure of 83 per cent for England.
“It’s amazing – if you look back to 2010 the standard was not good,” she said, “and now we are seeing the standards increasing. Schools are going from strength to strength and that’s because of good leadership and we should be extremely proud of that.”
And she added that the introduction of the two-tier system – feeding into Tudor Grange Academy Redditch and Ridgeway School would extend the choice the parents into how they want their children to be educated.
“The parents will decide – I expect Tudor Grange Academy to get on and get good academic results and then it will be up to the parents to choose,” she said.
Headteachers in Redditch are still running through the ramifications of two tier with West Midlands Schools Commissioner Pank Patel due to make his third visit to the borough to hold talks.
Elsewhere, school clusters feeding into RSA Academy Arrow Vale and St Augustines have declared their adherence to the three tier system with the latter extending its provision for any parents wanting their children to continue in three tier rather than move to two tier.
The three tier system involves children going to infants, middle and then high school. With two tier, children go from primary (Year 6) straight to secondary. The head at Tudor Grange Academy Redditch, Rose Rees, says this gives them greater influence on a child’s academic development.
Mrs Lumley has made plain that education is at the top of her priority list and has been invited by Ofsted to shadow an inspection of a local school in the near future.