December 10 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Council bosses are looking for organisations to come forward with proposals for a new secondary school in Bury St Edmunds.
Suffolk County Council is seeking expressions of interest from potential providers, such as community or religious groups and charities, for a new 11-16 age group school at Moreton Hall.
It comes ahead of public consultation in the autumn on the reorganisation of education in the Bury area and about 6,000 new homes which are planned for the town over the next 20 years.
If the move from three-tier to two-tier education is agreed, a county council spokesman said a new 600 place 11-16 high school would be needed. He added it would be expected to accommodate most of the additional children produced by the growth of the town, potentially taking 1,200 pupils and becoming large enough to sustain its own sixth form.
A site for the new school is set to be included within a proposed Taylor Wimpey development of about 550 homes on the edge of Moreton Hall.
Mike Bacon, chairman of the Moreton Hall Residents’ Association, said: “We want a good quality secondary school so we can maintain education right through from pre-school to sixth form without the need to shuttle children off the estate.”
Mr Bacon said people were keen the new school was predominantly for children on the estate, rather than for those on the other side of the town.
Moreton Hall councillor Trevor Beckwith said: “We need a school – great. When they decide who’s going to run it I might have some more comments to make.”
The county council spokesman said all new schools are expected to be academies, which means they are not run by the county council. But the county council does have to secure sufficient school places and recommends who will run the schools.
The Bury Schools Partnership (BSP), which aims to help smooth the transition from three-tier to two-tier education, is “very keen” to work with the new school’s provider.
Geoff Barton, headteacher of King Edward IV School, which is part of the partnership, said: “The BSP will very much want to support whoever provides that because we will want to reassure parents what they are getting fits into the pattern of education which is very successful here in the town and surrounding villages.”
The deadline for expressions of interest is September 27. Visit http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/sor