Parents’ anger over middle school closure

MBTC Margaret Beaufort School
MBTC Margaret Beaufort School

Parents of Year 4 children at a village school are angry after receiving an email stating their chosen middle school is set to close.

The message that Margaret Beaufort Middle School, Riseley, will close in 2017 was sent on the last day of term before the Easter holidays.

Under Bedford Borough’s move to two-tier education, the village will have just one primary school – and that will be run by the current Riseley Lower C of E School.

It will move staff and existing pupils on to the site and become Riseley C of E Primary School. This leaves current Year 4 pupils who have a place to start Margaret Beaufort Middle in September with the prospect of having one year of middle school and a Year 6 under a primary school set up.

Parent Mark Curtis, of Upper Dean, is one of a growing number of angry parents confused at exactly how the change will work.

He said: “One of our main complaints is how it has been handled. It is too late to make changes.

My son has been accepted for a school which will be closing one year later. We are now in a situation where he will be educated in a school which we did not apply for.”

He added: “I would like them to contemplate postponing it for one year.” The middle school, which has been recognised for its exceptional 2015 performance by the Schools, Students and Teachers network, is part of the Sharnbrook Academy Federation (SAF), which guarantees pupils a place at Sharnbook Upper.

A SAF spokesman said the federation is working hard to support the Year 4 parents and is offering them a place at its Harrold Middle School as an alternative.

He added Riseley Primary will remain in catchment for Sharnbrook Upper, and it is hoped the “excellent” Margaret Beaufort teachers will be offered new jobs within the federation.

A spokeswoman for Riseley Lower School said it would not be making any comment.

Bedford Borough Council announced the plan on March 24.