MINEHEAD Middle School has announced plans to teach students up to GCSE age, in what it says is a ‘do-or-die’ move.

The latest twist in the West Somerset schooling structure saw the school’s governors vote at an extraordinary meeting last week to consult with parents from the Exmoor Coast Federation about significant changes to the choice of secondary provision.

Minehead Middle School’s plans – to extend its upper age range from Year 8 to Year 11 – come in response to West Somerset College’s proposal to lower its age range to Year 7.

A spokesman for the college said the move was designed to help parents if Dulverton Middle School closes.

If the college is successful, it hopes to accept its first batch of younger pupils in 2015.

Paul Rushforth, head teacher at Minehead Middle School, said it had been left with no choice but to match the college’s admissions policy.

He said: “For every ten pupils they take, that results in a teacher loss for us.”

In a statement, Minehead Middle School governors said: “We believe that by offering a choice between two schools (that will still be above average in size for Somerset) this will raise standards for all which can only be of benefit for our children.

“Equally, if we were to do nothing, the future of Minehead Middle School is at risk, therefore we either plan to adapt and develop strategically, which is in the best interests of our children, or we no longer exist – there really is no other option and it really is as simple as that.”

  • The school’s consultation with all Exmoor Coast Federation parents closes on Friday, January 31.