Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Stowmarket: Headteacher reacts to Education in Suffolk’s bid to establish rival free school

06:00 26 July 2014

GCSE results are coming in

GCSE results are coming in

The headteacher of a criticised school has said the claims made by an educational group are “unsubstantiated”.

Headteacher Keith Penn.Headteacher Keith Penn.

Stowmarket High School headteacher, Keith Penn, has reacted to the news that a free school group is looking to establish a site at the existing locations for Bacton Middle School or Blackbourne Middle School in Stanton.

The free school group, Education in Suffolk, has claimed some parents “do not want” to send their children to Stowmarket and Stowupland high schools.

But Mr Penn questioned where the group was getting its information from.

“Whoever the group consists of, they made at least one claim that is not only anonymous but unsubstantiated – that parents ‘do not want to send their children’ to Stowmarket”, he said.

“I don’t know, and it’s hard to ask an anonymous group, where they get their information from. Parents have a right to choose a school for their child and may do so for a variety of reasons.

“As far as I know, a small number of parents from this area recently applying to schools outside the area are mostly in a younger age group (middle school age) and colleagues in local schools have told me that the common reason given by parents making such an application has been to avoid being in a middle school during the final year before closure; not a comment on the quality of middle school education and not to avoid any particular high school.”

Education in Suffolk was partly setup by former and current teachers as well as parents.

The group points to the most recent Ofsted reports of the high schools where both Stowmarket and Stowupland were given “requires improvement” grades. But since then progress has been noted through mini follow-up Ofsted reviews.

A spokesman for the free school group said it was focusing on improving standards and that both high schools were “good in their own way”.

“The figures talk for themselves – Stowmarket High School is about 120 kids short,” he said.

“Most of the kids are going from the middle schools to Thurston, Debenham and Hartismere – they are going out of the catchment area because of parents’ choice.

“We are not doing this for ourselves. If there is not enough interest the project will not proceed.”

He added that so far feedback was pointing overwhelmingly at favouring the Bacton site. Mr Penn questioned the 120 children figure and to which section of the school it is claimed to apply to.

Both Bacton and Blackbourne middle schools are to close as part of the county council’s education shake-up.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

St Margarets Street, Ipswich, from Majors Corner, in the 1930s

From the Dock, now known as The Waterfront, to the streets in and around the town centre, we see many changes in Ipswich town centre.

A cordon around the Inkerman pub in Norwich Road, Ipswich following the assault

A man has been charged with grievous bodily harm after a 63-year-old received serious head injuries during an early morning assault outside an Ipswich pub.

Pet Idol Winner Melanie Wakefield with Doug the dog.

He’s beaten all the competition to come out as top dog in our Pet Idol competition – it’s Doug the Jug.

Hollesley Bay

A prisoner from Hollesley Bay open prison who failed to return following a period of home leave has handed himself in, police have said.

The Suffolk Show 2015 - 
The grand parade.

The Suffolk Show has been a regular fixture on the calendars of generations of families and as this year’s event approaches, we thought we would test your knowledge of shows past and present.

Emergency services are at the scene. Stock image.

Emergency services have been called to a serious crash in Ixworth Thorpe this afternoon.

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust is urging people to help reduce demand this bank holiday weekend. Photograph Simon Parker

The ambulance service is urging people in Suffolk to take extra care this bank holiday weekend after calls to the service increased by 17% at the same time last year.

Drink-drivers in court

A disqualified driver who committed his third drink-driving offence only 18 days before the end of a three-year ban has been spared jail.

Rushmere Hall Primary School pupils Lana Inniss, Charlotte Aldous and Lottie Layton designed the school's  Pigs Gone Wild pig.

The beauty of wildlife was captured by pupils at Rushmere Hall Primary School when they designed their entry for the Pigs Gone Wild art trail.

Sir Trevor Nunn with members of the New Wolsey's Young Company

An opportunity has arisen for young actors to appear in Sir Trevor Nunn’s A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24