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Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Friday, 9 July 2010 15:34 UK

Two tier school plans scrapped

Debrah McGurran, Political Editor, BBC East
By Deborah McGurran
Political Editor
BBC East

The Bedford Borough Council had wanted to switch from three to two tiers, abolishing middle schools, but needed government money which has now been withdrawn

Plans in Bedfordshire for a two tier school system have been thrown into chaos by the new government.

Bedford Borough Council voted for change last November, after more than 30 years of a middle school system.

The Council has now announced that it has been forced to abandon its plans to restructure education.

The decision to move from three-tier to two-tier schools was made after assurances about finance by the previous government.

In a statement, the Council says that because the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme has been cancelled, it no longer has the funding to carry on with the proposals.

Bedford Borough Council now wants a meeting with the Secretary of State for Education to discuss the crisis and make the case for the borough, as part of the government's new review of capital investment in schools.

The Council has said that it was disappointed over the news that the BSF Programme had been terminated, as the change was dependent upon that funding.

In the light of the government's review it is considering its options.

The head teacher of Alban Middle School, Lorraine Dougall, said that it has been unsettling and stressful for staff since the news of the transition to a two tier system.

She is frustrated by the lack of information this week but hopes that this will finally signal an end to the matter of restructuring, so that they can get on with the business of education.

"This is a very popular school.

"We cannot constantly have the question coming up.

"The structure that we have has many benefits and if we work together we can overcome any difficulties that there are."

Alban Middle School is now to bid for Academy status.

To see if your school is affected, here is a list of the schools in the East of England which have either been stopped or are now "up for discussion" with the Department for Education.

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