max temp: 12°C

min temp: 2°C


Clare: Minister attends official launch of Suffolk’s ‘flagship’ free school

10:00 15 June 2013

Keith Haisman BEM, Lord John Nash and head teacher Christine Inchley at the official opening of Stour Valley Community School in Clare.

Keith Haisman BEM, Lord John Nash and head teacher Christine Inchley at the official opening of Stour Valley Community School in Clare.


Education Minister Lord Nash has described Suffolk’s first free school as a “flagship for the Government’s education reforms”.


He was speaking at the official launch of Stour Valley Community School in Clare this week, which – when it opened in September 2011 with 180 students – was one of just 24 free schools in the UK.

Lord Nash praised the hard work and determination of local people who had taken an idea on a blank sheet of paper and worked tirelessly to turn it into a thriving school with 320 students.

Among them was current chairman of governors Keith Haisman, who was awarded the British Empire Medal earlier this year for spearheading the three-year campaign to get the school up and running.

Stour Valley Community was one of 323 institutions that initially applied to the Government to become free schools. But it was one of just two in East Anglia given approval in the first round of applications.

During the past year, the school has undergone a major refurbishment and building programme and now has a new science block, dance and activity studio, music block and a communal area.

It also has the capacity to accommodate up to 540 pupils. Lord Nash said he was “delighted” to be asked to perform the official opening duties, adding: “As one of the first free schools to open, Stour Valley Community really is a flagship for our education reforms. It was a privilege to see what parent and community-led demand, motivation and hard work can achieve.

“(The school’s) traditional curriculum and strong value system will raise standards in the area and will prepare young people really well for their future.”

Mr Haisman added: “As a school serving the needs of our rural community, our students come from a wide area and a large number of schools.

“Our staff have worked very hard to ensure that all students settle in quickly and make exceptional progress through the school.”



Bogus caller victim. Library image.

A Hadleigh resident has fallen prey to a phone scam run by crooks posing as bogus police officers.

Museum bosses have gone back to the drawing board following their lottery bid rejection.

Hopes of a multi-million-pound lottery windfall for Ipswich Museum have been dashed – forcing borough chiefs to reconsider the ambitious £23m project to transform the High Street campus.

High winds are set to hit Suffolk and Essex. PA Photo: Chris Ison.

A yellow weather warning for high winds has been issued by the Met Office for Essex and Suffolk across the weekend.

Cannabis was found at Ipswich house

An illegal immigrant is facing a jail term after police found nearly 400 plants and seedlings at a cannabis factory set up in an east Ipswich house.

Orwell Bridge

A man from the Ipswich area has died after falling from the Orwell Bridge, police said today.

Sergeant Ash Jackobs (31) from Felixstowe during 

Chefs from Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade have been wild cooking to prepare for operations in tough environments.

Suffolk County Council's cabinet arrived at Elstree today - the home of the Star Wars franchise.

The day after county councillors discussed cutting millions from the authority’s budget over the next two years, its cabinet members are on a £4,000 training course at the world famous Elstree studios.

The release of the John Lewis advert has become an much-anticipated event in recent years. Picture: John Lewis/PA

Christmas adverts have boomed in recent years with the likes of John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and Tesco leading the way.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Rail services running through Bury St Edmunds face delays of up to 25 minutes or cancellation due to a train fault.

Ben Gummer and Mark Pendlington at Ipswich rail station.

Campaigners seeking to improve rail services between East Anglia and London have insisted that the new report into infrastructure is good for the region – because it makes little reference to the route.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24