Report lifts school staff

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SUDBURY’S Uplands Middle School has received a “good” rating from Ofsted as confusion still reigns over the future of its site and grounds, writes Elliot Pinkham.

Inspectors assessed the school in York Road during a two-day visit earlier this month, concluding that Uplands was a good school that had improved under the strong leadership of headteacher Helen Shield.

“We are delighted with the results,” said Mrs Shield. “We are a school that is going to close in two years and our creed here is business as usual.

“It really did underline the fact that we do mean business, we are a good school and we will close as a good school serving this community.”

The report noted the school’s “calm and purposeful” community, the outstanding attendance by pupils and a curriculum which is enriched by thematic days and extra-curricular activities.

“All the hard work of the pupils, staff and governors has been recognised,” said Mrs Shield.

“We don’t want to close but that is the way it is. This is not a hangdog school – we are doing our best and will continue to do so until the end.”

The school will not take any new admissions in September, 2012, and will close the following August.

Plans for the site have not yet been finalised, although one option under consideration involves the site being incorporated into Sudbury Upper school.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “There is the potential, if numbers require, that the Uplands site could be used for Sudbury Upper.

“It is an option that has been noted, but there are also other community and district users outside of schools in the area and education generally.”

Suffolk County Council’s Schools Organisation Review is responsible for overseeing the closure of middle schools in the county.

A deadline for a decision on the future of the site and grounds of Uplands has not yet been set.

“There isn’t a definitive point when that decision will be made,” said the spokesman.

“As the school closes at the end of the summer term in 2013, there is plenty of time to get the necessary arrangements in place.”