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18th Oct, 2021

'No plans for Redditch' as two tier schools debate resurfaces

Ross Crawford 13th Oct, 2021

THERE are ‘no current plans’ for Redditch to re-visit the two tier / three tier schools debate says the County Councillor Marcus Hart, the man in charge of the education portfolio in Worcestershire.

His comments come after a public consultation was launched in Pershore after schools asked for age ranges there to be reviewed ‘for there to be a clear and consistent education pathway for children’.

It’s six years since Redditch was consumed by the three tier / two tier schools debate – and it still bears the scars.

It began when Tudor Grange Academy successfully applied to introduce a two tier system of education, that is, a primary then a secondary, instead of the then current infants, middle, and high school.

Ridgeway High School, then a middle school, looked to follow suit, sparking huge upheaval across Redditch schools as they scrambled to ensure they had a defined pyramid of pathways for pupils to go through the schools system.

After seeing its intake tumble, Tudor Grange switched back to three tier, to the delight of parents, but Ridgeway has continued, successfully establishing itself as a two tier school with backed by supporting primaries.

Coun Hart said: “There are no current plans for the wholescale review of 3 tier and 2 education across the county as a whole.

“School leaders in Pershore have asked for age ranges of the schools to be reviewed and changes to be coordinated for there to be a clear and consistent education pathway for children in this education planning area.

“I have received no such approach from schools in Redditch at this time, regarding the current situation in this district.

“If and when, one is received, we will work with them to address any concerns they have, and how best to take it forward.”

The education provision in Pershore has tended to follow a three-tier journey, where pupils attend first schools from age 4-9, transfer to middle schools at age 9-12 and then transfer to high school at age 12 to complete their education.

Changes to schools in Pershore over several years has led to uncertainty and sustainability concerns as there now exists a mixture of two-tier and three-tier with some schools.

This has led to additional places in Years 5, 6 and 7 creasing an unsustainable level of surplus/excess places in these year groups.

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