A message from Karen Magrath,

(1997 to present)

July 2003 will see the closure of Marston Middle School, previously Harlow Secondary School, and before that Old Marston Secondary School. It is an occasion for mixed feelings – happy memories of past school days, tinged with sadness that the school is closing.

The decision to close Marston Middle School, along with the other 9 Middle Schools in Oxford was taken by the Education Committee in January 2000. The decision followed lengthy consultation with pupils, staff, parents and the general public. Although the results were by no means conclusive, the Committee decided that pupils in Oxford were likely to achieve better results if they transferred school just once, from Primary to Secondary -with this in mind they decided to phase out the Middle Schools.

So we have known about the closure for three and a half years which has enabled us to plan and prepare for a smooth transition. In the Marston/North Oxford part of the city we have been fortunate because the majority of staff and pupils will transfer to one school – Cherwell. (Of our 275 pupils, 245 are going to Cherwell and 30 to other schools in the City.) Frideswide Middle School situated opposite Cherwell will also close and the site will become Cherwell Lower School for the 11 – 14 year olds. The current Cherwell site will be the the Upper School for the 14 – 19 students. We don’t know for sure what the Marston Middle School building will be used for but it will continue to be for educational purposes.

Marston Middle School has been through several changes in its 46 year history. However the staff, pupils and parents have worked together to make those changes successful. I am sure that the warmth and friendliness that is such a feature of Marston Middle School will see us through this latest change and that it too will be successful.

I have very much enjoyed my last 6 years as Headteacher of Marston Middle School and look forward to keeping the Marston spirit alive next year at Cherwell

Karen Magrath, June 2003

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