max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C


Suffolk headteacher adds his voice to worries about school transport

PUBLISHED: 13:39 17 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:39 17 December 2017

Jim McAtear, executive head at Hartismere. Picture: ARCHANT

Jim McAtear, executive head at Hartismere. Picture: ARCHANT


Another Suffolk headteacher has entered the debate about the future of school transport in the county by writing an open letter to cabinet member Gordon Jones.

Suffolk County Council cabinet member Gordon Jones. Picture: ARCHANT Suffolk County Council cabinet member Gordon Jones. Picture: ARCHANT

Jim McAtear, executive headmaster of the Hartismere Family of Schools based in Eye, has written to Mr Jones who is cabinet member for education at Suffolk County Council.

He says: “I am writing to you about your Council’s proposal to remove free school transport from the families of over 200 of our children.

“It is clear from your proposal that those families who have the necessary funds and who are not dependant on school buses will be able to choose which school their child attends.

“It is therefore equally clear that those who do not have the necessary funds and who are therefore dependant on free school transport will not be able to make a choice about the school their child attends.

“It seems abundantly clear that your proposal intends to remove free school transport leaving the richest families with choices which are no longer available to poorer families.

“Your intention to favour those who have and ignore the aspirations of those who have less is utterly shameless. I call upon you to recognise how entirely wrong these proposals are.

“Cuts should not be designed in such a way that they hurt the children of the poorest members of our society,

“I therefore expect that you not only remove the proposal but that you apologise to the people of Suffolk for your attempt to make it in the first place.”

Mr Jones said he was surprised to receive the letter – he had met Mr McAtear last month and had not heard any of these concerns at that point.

The county council is currently consulting people about the changes to school transport funding which could be introduced in 2019.

Mr Jones said last week that he hoped people would approach the consultation process with an open mind.

He said: “This is only the beginning and I’m calling for unity. I’m saying ‘let’s use this consultation to look at all the issues, discuss them and find sensible solutions together.’

“This is a very serious and challenging issue to tackle, which we must in order to be able to afford to run the service in the future.”

Patients at the combined Ipswich and Colchester hospitals will be able to use technology such as mobile phone apps to “self-service” their care plans.

Plans to build an Aldi store in Martlesham Heath are set to get the green light on Monday after overwhelming public support resulted in nearly 900 letters backing the build.

A warning has been issued over the dangers of drinking in hot-tubs after a Suffolk man drowned with potentially fatal levels of alcohol in his system.

Thousands of runners will take their place on the starting line at the Colchester Half Marathon this weekend, but don’t be late!

With only 11 days to go until Easter we take a look at the most unusual eggs on the high street.

A decision over controversial plans to build nearly 300 homes in Rendlesham is to be made on Monday – with planners recommending the plans are rejected.

The pupils at Ipswich High School were treated to a very special visit on World Book Day.

Phil Quickenden has been on the receiving end of some gentle ribbing from colleagues in the Suffolk police control room lately.

Suffolk County Councillor Kathy Bole will be putting on a brave new look to her colleagues at Thursday’s full meeting of the authority in Ipswich.

An Ipswich bottled beer shop has gained a tool which produces beer that stays fresh for up to a month.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24