Middle School Questionnaire

This questionnaire forms part of my PhD research into the advantages and disadvantages of schools catering for different age ranges with particular focus on the differences between the two-tier and three-tier schooling systems. If you would like to know more about this research, please click here to view an information sheet.


This questionnaire is intended for middle school staff (except those within Dorset LEA*) but is also appropriate for other interested stakeholders such as educationists and former middle school staff. Please complete the following questions and click 'next' at the bottom of each page (if you cannot see the 'next' button, please scroll down). If you need to go back to a previous page, please use the 'back' button at the bottom of the page and not the back button on your web browser.


The responses you provide will be treated in confidence and used solely for the work of this investigation.

The questionnaire is anonymous and any potentially identifying information you provide in your responses will not be included in any reports or summaries produced as a result of this research. All data will be handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.


Thank you very much for your assistance,


Kathy Seymour


PhD Researcher

School of Education

University of Nottingham


Email: ttxks3@nottingham.ac.uk

*If you are a teacher or headteacher in a school within Dorset LEA, your area will be the focus of my PhD fieldwork and you should receive a questionnaire pack in the post shortly, or you can complete your Dorset-specific questionnaire online by clicking here].

Please click 'next' to begin the survey


Section A: About you


Do you currently work in a school?

If no, what is your role (e.g. educationist, researcher etc)?

(please specify)


What is you role at your school?


If you work in a middle school, which age range does your school cover?

(please specify)



Do you have any experience as a teacher, deputy head or headteacher in the following types of school in England? [Please tick all that apply]

(please specify below)


Section B: Child development and the age range of schools


At what age do you think children are generally ready to be taught...


By subject-specialist teachers for most subjects rather than by class teachers?


In groups set by ability for most subjects rather than in mixed ability groups?


If you would like to elaborate on the answers given to i) and/or ii), please use the space below:



Which of the following schooling systems do you think is most beneficial for the majority of children in terms of encouraging their educational / academic development?

(please detail)


Please use the space below if you wish to elaborate on your response to Q6a:



Which of the following schooling systems do you think is most beneficial for the majority of children in terms of encouraging their social / emotional development and well-being?

(please detail)


Please use the space below if you wish to elaborate on your response to Q7a:



Do you think children aged 9-13 are more likely to experience the following in the two-tier schooling system (with transfer to secondary school at age 11), or in the three-tier system (with middle schools)?

More likely in two-tier system

More likely in three-tier system

No difference

Involvement in extra-curricular activities

Bullying or harassment from other children

A teacher or other adult at the school they feel able to talk to if they have a problem

Anxiety about school work

Access to a range of specialist facilities (e.g. science labs, design and technology facilities, separate sports hall etc.)

A 'dip' in academic performance on commencing key stage 3

Feelings of unhappiness while at school

A high standard of provision for meeting individual needs (e.g. special educational needs, gifted and talented children etc.)

Disinterest in school work

Section C: The two-tier and three-tier schooling systems



If you wish to comment on any of the responses you have given to Q8a, please use the space below:



Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements about the two-tier schooling system involving 11+ secondary schools and the three-tier schooling system involving 9-13 middle schools:

Neither agree nor disagree

Strongly agree

Strongly disagree



The age ranges of schools within the three-tier system align more closely with children's social and emotional development than those in the two-tier system

The three-tier system is an expensive way to educate children

The three-tier system keeps children in a primary school environment for longer than is necessary

The three-tier system helps to gradually introduce children to the teaching and learning environment of a secondary school

The number of scheduled school-to-school transfers in the three-tier system causes unnecessary anxiety for children

The three-tier system is better able to provide good pastoral care for children than the two-tier system

The three-tier system is inappropriate as it does not fit with the National Curriculum key stage structure



Are you generally in favour of the three-tier system involving middle schools?


Please give brief reasons for your response to question 10a:

Further information about this research

If you would like to receive a summary of findings from this survey, please provide an email address to which the summary can be sent:

Thank you for completing this questionnaire,

your assistance with this research is much appreciated.


Please click 'submit' to send your responses.

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