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middle school


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A school for pupils aged 9–13/14. It is part of an arrangement, recommended in the Plowden Report and introduced by some local authorities in the 1960s, in which compulsory schooling begins with a first school which takes pupils from age 5 up to the age of 8 or 9, at which point they progress to the middle school. Secondary schooling, therefore, begins at 13 or 14 rather than at 11 as is the case in the more usual structured progression of infant, junior, and secondary provision. The middle school system was first introduced in the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1963, and became more widespread partly as a measure to address a school accommodation crisis brought about by the introduction of comprehensive education. The middle schools themselves were seen as a way of introducing a comprehensive model, since they avoided the traditional change of school at the age of 11 and the selection process it entailed. Because of changing demographics and the reforms of post‐16 education which have resulted in more pupils staying on at school in Years 12 and 13, the number of middle schools is currently in decline.

Subjects: Education.


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