Protest group’s meeting appeal

More than 300 protesters took to the streets of Thrapston earlier this year to oppose plans to switch from a three-tier to a two-tier education system

More than 300 protesters took to the streets of Thrapston earlier this year to oppose plans to switch from a three-tier to a two-tier education system

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A group opposing plans to shake-up education in Oundle and Thrapston has appealed for a meeting with the county’s top education politician to air their concerns.

The Save the King John School group is against Northamptonshire County Council plans to swap the current three-tier education system in the two towns to a two-tier system – which would result in the closure of King John School and leave Thrapston with one large primary school.

The changes would mean pupils would move directly from primary schools in Thrapston and Oundle to the Prince William School in Oundle.

Parent Suzanne Woods, a member of the Save the King John School group, said members were appealing for a meeting with the county’s head of children’s services, Cllr Heather Smith.

She added: “The former head of children’s services, Catherine Boardman, resigned a few weeks ago and we would like to have a meeting with Heather Smith to tell her about our very real concerns.

“Parents are very worried. There is a lot of uncertainty and we are concerned that there could be an exodus of staff from the school as the deadline approaches.

“These changes would leave Thrapston, a growing town, with just one primary school and that does not make sense to us.

“We’re worried that the decision has already been made, but we will fight every minute to ensure it does not happen.”

Mrs Woods said the group has taken legal advice about the proposals, and group members were concerned that their questions were not properly answered in public meetings held at the affected schools.

Thrapston Primary School’s governing body announced earlier this year that it was in favour of the switch to two-tier education.

They said the move will help the town attract better staff, who are not keen on working in a three-tier system, and that it will ensure that children in Thrapston will continue to have access to a primary school in their town.

Prince William School in Oundle has also said it is in favour of the switch.

When it announced the consultation about the switch from three to two-tier, Northamptonshire County Council said it did not believe that the three-tier system represented the best long term approach to education in the area.

Oundle Kings Cliffe School has already been earmarked for closure.