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Leman reveals plans for middle school

PUBLISHED: 09:00 03 July 2009 | UPDATED: 08:19 01 August 2010

BECCLES Middle School could be staying open as a Sir John Leman Lower School, it was revealed this week.

The Sir John Leman High School will be recommending that the Middle School site stays open to accommodate the new year seven and eight pupils in 2012 after the School Organisational Review (SOR).

BECCLES Middle School could be staying open as a Sir John Leman Lower School, it was revealed this week.

The Sir John Leman High School will be recommending that the Middle School site stays open to accommodate the new year seven and eight pupils in 2012 after the School Organisational Review (SOR).

At the moment the school accommodates years nine to 11, plus a sixth form, but the two extra year groups will be added to the school register after the closure of middle schools in Suffolk.

It is hoped the opening of a new secondary school in south Lowestoft in September 2011 will unload some of the burden on the Leman, and the use of the middle school site will also help to accommodate the influx of pupils.

Jeremy Rowe, headteacher at the Sir John Leman, stressed that although the lower school would be using the middle school site it would still be very much a part of the Sir John Leman, with the same values, ethos, uniform and staff.

He said pupils at the lower school would also be able to use the facilities at the Ringsfield Road site, and sixth form pupils would remain on the high school site in Ringsfield Road.

“This is still subject to the final decision of the schools' adjudicator,” said Mr Rowe. “We are convinced that this is the right option for us and the kids. To accommodate the new year groups we would have had to use portable accommodation.”

The decision was made after meetings of the school's leadership group and governing body, and after consultations last autumn when parents, carers and staff were invited to put forward their views.

At those meetings the school promised it would give parents at least three years' notice of its intentions in an effort to add a degree of certainty to the unsettling nature of the process. Mr Rowe said that this latest decision had been made with that in mind.

In a newsletter sent out to parents of pupils of the Sir John Leman, the school says it believes it is the best decision because the middle school site is already designed around the needs of younger students.

It is also states that the lower school will act as a stepping stone towards joining the high school, giving pupils a chance to adjust to high school life.

One of the anxieties parents had expressed at the autumn consultation was that moving from primary school to high school would be too big a jump.

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