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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2007, 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
MPs told of 'distress' at academy
A petition has been handed in to Parliament protesting at plans to reorganise secondary schools on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.

Hundreds of residents are against the scheme to set up an academy at Minster College to replace three middle schools for children aged nine to 13.

Labour MP for Sheppey, Derek Wyatt, told the House of Commons it was causing major distress in the area.

"The proposals do not conform to the wishes of the population," he said.

Three sites

Kent County Council (KCC) has held talks with top public school Dulwich College about possible sponsorship of the new school.

Mr Wyatt has lobbied against setting up an academy on one site, saying a better solution would be a federated one on three sites.

In March, the government announced a review of the KCC proposals by former chief inspector of schools, Maurice Smith.

It is expected to report its findings by the end of May.

The Isle of Sheppey is the only area in Kent which still has middle schools.

If the academy goes ahead, a two-tier system of primary and secondary schools would replace them.

"The petitioners request that the House of Commons ... ensures that a single academy should not be built at Minster College," Mr Wyatt said on Wednesday.

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