Bedfordshire pupils in three-tier school system have been 'forgotten' by Prime Minister's reopening plans

Boris' return to school announcement only applies to children in two-tier education

Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 4:15 pm

Parents at Alameda Middle School in Ampthill fear the county's three-tier education system has meant they've been forgotten by the Government.

As the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children should return to school after the May half-term - the fear is there has been no consideration for the Bedfordshire's three-tier format.

Claire Lynch is one of many concerned parents at the school.

Pupils want to return to Alameda Middle School

She said: "Why have Year 8 pupils at Alameda Middle School, a three-tier school system, not been offered the same opportunity to return to school as Year 6 children in two-tier school systems?

"In a three-tier school system at the end of year 4 and year 8 pupils transition to a new school. At Alameda Middle School year 8 pupils had been looking forward to preparing to move to Redborne Upper School. However the Government has not included them in their return to school plan."

Claire said: "We are trying to find some answers. Why have the Government not put in any plans for three-tier schools?"

A Department of Education spokesman said: "The three year groups within mainstream primary have been prioritised because they are key transition years. Year 6 children are finishing Key Stage 2 and preparing for the transition to secondary school, in many cases, and the secondary curriculum and will benefit immensely from time with their friends and teachers to ensure they are ready.

"We expect all mainstream schools to follow the same approach, including middle schools, to ensure national parity for children in this year group."

The fear is the Year 8 children, aged 13, have been forgotten and parents are worried how this could affect them emotionally.

Claire added: "The Government's statement should have been worded that any children due transition to an upper school should go back.

"It's important for them to get closure."

She added: "It's disheartening. Why is no-one helping us? It's a very important time for our children. Why is no-one supporting us. The school are supporting us - but Gavin Williamson and Nadine Dorries aren't. We must have been forgotten."

However, there was some light at the end of the tunnel. When Bedford Today contacted Nadine Dorries for a comment, she said: "Last week I wrote to the secretary of state for education asking for consideration of the three-tier system we have in Bedfordshire. I’ve also spoken to Nick Gibb, the schools minister, about this.

"The Government will now look again to see what assistance can be offered to ensure the smooth transition of pupils moving up through the three-tier school system here in Mid Beds."