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General Chat Thread, Bedfordshire just scrapped middle schools in General; They just voted to go two tier in bedfordshire this evening. All the middle schools will be torn down or ...
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    HMCTech's Avatar
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    Bedfordshire just scrapped middle schools

    They just voted to go two tier in bedfordshire this evening. All the middle schools will be torn down or redevloped over the next few years.

    Does this effect anyone?

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    dalsoth's Avatar
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    I wonder what happens to the middle school techs and network managers. Do they lose their jobs or can they apply at upper schools or lower schools? Anyone know?

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    given that some of the upper schools are allready quite large it would be reasonable to assume that they would need to have more secondarys than they currently have uppers. unless they plan to seperate out the sixth forms(which seems daft given the main idea is to have fewer sites)

    the same thing happened in Northampton about 10 years ago and they moved the teachers accross so would assume the same would apply for support staff.

    Shame really because i found that upper schools were really nice places to work and the rationale that the students perform worse because they change schools more is a bit of a non starter given the results at some of them. poor perfomings schools will perform poorly regardless of whether you start at 11 or 13.

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    That won't leave many areas left with them now at all, we have 2 left where we are and then isn't there some down south somewhere but I bet they are in the low double figures nationally?

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    witch's Avatar
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    We have 2 different versions: Poole mostly has 8-12 middle schools but is committed to changing them by 2014.
    Dorset has 9-13 middle schools and has just started the consultation to get rid of them. (some areas have done so already)

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    We're undergoing the Organisational Review in Suffolk at the moment, but it's all a bit confused. Money is a massive issue so whilst my school and associated others in the pyramid are facing closure, other middle schools will stay.

    Personally I think it's a good system. (Middle/Upper)

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    I'm in a Middle deemed Primary (Y5-Y7) and there are swings and roundabouts. The move from first school to middle is less daunting than a one off transition to Y7 in the big school. The kids gain a lot of maturity during Y7 and are ready for the move into Y8 in a new school.

    The main downside is funding. We don't have the cash to provide the resources available in a High school.

    There are no immediate plans to scrap our middle system but it must be on the cards. As I'm 60, it's no big deal to me. In fact enforced early retirement in a couple of years would suit me fine. Bit tough on some of the others though.

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    Best of luck - we did this in Northants a few years ago - and frankly it was a right old mess - builds to increase the size of the senior and junior schools were late, but the middle schools still closed. The school I'm at more or less doubled in size and the management structures buckled under the load. We also inherited a lot of middle school teachers who found the transition very difficult - and couldn't deal with the big aggressive 16 year olds - all of whom have now left (many who have left teaching completely). To cap it all - the main reason (imho) that it all got pushed through - so that the council could sell off the middle school sites for building - all fell through coz of the credit crunch - so most of them are standing empty & getting vandalised.

    Happy days - no doubt Tony will have a positive take on this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanc View Post
    the same thing happened in Northampton about 10 years ago and they moved the teachers accross so would assume the same would apply for support staff.
    You can have more than one teacher , but not two network managers (the sarcasm alone would make the world implode).

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    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserblazer View Post
    I'm in a Middle deemed Primary (Y5-Y7) and there are swings and roundabouts. The move from first school to middle is less daunting than a one off transition to Y7 in the big school. The kids gain a lot of maturity during Y7 and are ready for the move into Y8 in a new school.

    The main downside is funding. We don't have the cash to provide the resources available in a High school.

    There are no immediate plans to scrap our middle system but it must be on the cards. As I'm 60, it's no big deal to me. In fact enforced early retirement in a couple of years would suit me fine. Bit tough on some of the others though.
    For us, being middle-deemed-secondary, money is less of an issue. I work at a middle and a junior and I can see positives on both sides. However, the MAIN thing about middle schools, at least our sort - up to year 8 - is that the children in years 5 and 6 are taught by specialist subject teachers. At the junior, all teachers teach everything and there is some spectacular struggling going on, particularly in ICT.

    The middle school my children went to has very good facilities (labs, music, ICT etc) and were a hugely good influence on their education. My sons were able to stay in a known environment as they went through puberty (my eldest went from 5ft 6 to 6ft 1 in one year!) and then move on to secondary.

    The problem here is, because of the nature of the schools, we are still going to have three tiers in many places as some first schools will change to infant schools and middles will become junior, due to space constraints.

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    The Isle of Wight also made the same decision to go two tier recently.

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    So what is going to happen to the Network Managers at the middle schools? Do they apply to be technicians at the upper schools or do the jobs at the upper schools get re advertised?

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    Yes this effects a lot to my elder brother's life


    Quote Originally Posted by AlexPilot View Post
    They just voted to go two tier in bedfordshire this evening. All the middle schools will be torn down or redevloped over the next few years.

    Does this effect anyone?

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    Anyone if Bedfordshire give us an updat on how this has gone?

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    I work in a neighbouring 2 tier system, but was brought up on the 3 tier in bedfordshire.

    The problem with this planned change, is the location, size and space each of the current lower/middle/upper's have.

    The uppers by and large have a lot of free space, but that is needed when you have 1200-1500 students in one site aged 13 to 18. They also sit on the outskirts of town mostly.

    The lowers however, are all very local, community based places, mostly 1 or 2 phase entry.
    The middle schools are about a 4/5 phase entry, and the Uppers are 9/10 phase.
    (Phase = number of classes per year on entry to the school)

    To split this, a good number of lowers will either close or become infants, as they just don't have the space to expand by 50%.
    The middle schools, some of them can be expanded, but many of them are not suitable for children aged 6-9; multi storey buildings with subject specific facilities do not really suit children aged 5-9, so goodbye all science labs, and the science techs with it, the music rooms will be gone, Design tech scaled back heavily...

    The thing I like about the 3 tier system, is the lower years are communal, very close knit, everyone knows everyone else student and teacher wise, and most of the parents meet eachother. The subjects are mutli-function single room based, with a single teacher teaching all subjects (mostly).
    When they go to middle school, things transition to being individual subjects, and students learn to be a little indepentant, but still enough of a nurturing environment that they don't feel overwhelmed. Once they hit upper school, it's less of a sudden transition, things just get bigger!

    With the 2 tier, you go from the kind and caring, single class based one teacher-for-all system and your own classroom etc, to being in the big bad world of different subjects, you have children literally double your size, and everything is different. Your almost immediately expected to be more independant, with little support to do it, just have to get on with it.

    And the Uppers, since most include a 6th form, will need to expand further to take in another 2 years worth of entry; so current stats, 4-600 new students, or new 6th form college facilities will need to be built on new sites.

    I'm sure this can, and has worked elsewhere, but the cost, effort, and disruption it would cause for years, if not decades in my mind isn't worth it.

    Is either system wrong? No, neither are perfect. But if I had a choice, I would much rather my future children to go through the 3 tier systems.

  16. Thanks to Rydra from:

    laserblazer (10th February 2011)



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