Community demands new school

DISAPPOINTED families in Rendlesham are calling for an urgent meeting with education chiefs to demand a school for their community.An education officer was due to attend a meeting of the village's parish council on Monday night but a mix-up in communication meant that no one appeared.

DISAPPOINTED families in Rendlesham are calling for an urgent meeting with education chiefs to demand a school for their community.

An education officer was due to attend a meeting of the village's parish council on Monday night but a mix-up in communication meant that no one appeared.

Now the parish council are calling on their local county councillor, Peter Monk, to arrange an urgent meeting with a county education officer.

Residents have been campaigning for a primary school in their village for many years and had produced a list of questions they wanted Suffolk County Council's education department to answer.

They are particulary concerned about the council's predicted figures for the growth of the area, which they feel are much lower than they should be.

When the Ministry of Defence sold the land it was on the condition that certain basic facilities, including a school, would be provided.

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Land has even been allocated for it on a site next to the existing sports centre, but the county council say there is not enough demand for one.

Children currently have to be bussed out to schools in Eyke and the Sandlings airbase in Woodbridge.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Monk said the criteria for deciding on a school was based on the predicted growth of the area and the number of children of primary school age.

But he was unable to explain how these figures were reached and agreed to make sure an education officer attended a meeting at the earliest opportunity.

Parish council chairman Albert Tiller said: "Until we have someone who can explain to us the formula for deciding these figures then there is not much more we can do. But this is an urgent issue that cannot wait until our next scheduled meeting and I would urge Mr Monk to summon an education officer to attend a meeting at the earliest possible opportunity."

Rev Colin Macdonald said: "A school has always been included in the plans for the area and it would really help to bring the community together.

"We have been given all these figures that just don't tally up and we need someone to come and explain to us how they have been arrived at."

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