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Bury St Edmunds: Celebrations as primary school becomes academy

07:58 04 July 2014

A day of celebrations at Tollgate Primary School to mark academy status. It coincided with their annual sports day.

A day of celebrations at Tollgate Primary School to mark academy status. It coincided with their annual sports day.

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Tollgate Primary School in Bury St Edmunds has entered a new era after it was granted academy status.

The school now joins Barrow Primary, Westley and Horringer Court middle schools and County Upper as part of the Bury St Edmunds Academy Trust.

The new status frees the school from local authority control, and allows it to make its own decisions on issues ranging from staff contracts to the length of the school day.

Helen Ashe, acting head of school at Tollgate, said parents were “delighted” with the move as it secured the route through to County Upper School.

The academy trust has been outside of Suffolk County Council’s plans to move to a system of two-tier education in the area.

Alison Earl, acting executive headteacher at Tollgate Primary, said: “It has been a privilege to work with the staff, children and governors at Tollgate.

“I’m looking forward to the time when Suffolk’s reorganisation has been completed and both ‘all-through’ and ‘two-tier’ schools can work alongside each other to ensure the very best outcomes for all children.”

Tollgate - which was placed in special measures in 2012 - has already been working closely with the academy trust, and Mrs Ashe said standards had already been improving.

On Tuesday there were celebrations to mark the academy status, coinciding with the annual sports day event.

Guest of honour was Suffolk sporting star Louise Jukes, an international handball player who represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.

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