Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

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

PUBLISHED: 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

A 58-year-old man is due to appear in court charged with growing cannabis at a property in Ipswich.

It’s Red Nose Day and to celebrate eere are some, perhaps slightly edited, nostalgic pictures to kick-start our coverage.

Water has been restored to a Suffolk school after a burst pipe and subsequent sinkhole forced it to close yesterday.

A drink-driver who crashed his girlfriend’s car after stealing it and driving 10 miles with the intention of getting drunk on a Christmas pub crawl has been jailed.

A father and daughter who obstructed police when they came to their Ipswich home to arrest a family member have been fined.

A steam engine making its way to the North Norfolk Railway travelled through the region on Thursday.

An Ipswich drug addict who assaulted a paramedic with a tin of tuna and damaged an ambulance after falling off her bike must pay compensation.

An Ipswich women’s group dedicated to raising money for good causes celebrated its first birthday with cake and dancing.

What are you doing for Red Nose Day? See here to send in your stories and photos.

Handball - it is a sport that has been played in Ipswich for decades, long before the town’s handball club was established.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24