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High school in Ipswich set for major revamp to accommodate 200 extra pupils

PUBLISHED: 17:35 04 October 2018

Copleston High School has put in plans to knock down some of its buildings and create new ones, which should expand capacity to another 200 pupils Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Copleston High School has put in plans to knock down some of its buildings and create new ones, which should expand capacity to another 200 pupils Picture: RACHEL EDGE

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One of Ipswich's most popular high schools has lodged major plans to revamp its classrooms in a bid to accommodate more pupils.

Copleston High School as of 2018  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNCopleston High School as of 2018 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Copleston High School submitted the planning application to Ipswich Borough Council in August, proposing to part demolish two of the main teaching blocks and rebuild as one complete block.

The application said: “The new build is aimed at replacing the existing outdated facilities, providing outstanding teaching facilities to allow students to thrive in a comfortable learning environment.”

It added: “Overall, the proposals offer a more effective use of space than the existing school site.”

The school currently has 1,480 pupils and 300 sixth form places. The new build will create an additional 150 school places and 60 sixth form vacancies, according to the plans.

A public consultation event was held in July this year where early proposals could be seen and commented on, while 200 surrounding homes were leafletted and emails sent to the parents and carers of existing pupils at the school.

The plans are currently open for comments from the public as part of the planning consultation, and will go to the borough council’s planning committee later this autumn.

If approved, it is not yet clear when work may begin or when the new teaching facilities will be open.

The proposals come amid a struggle for places across east Ipswich’s secondary schools, with Copleston, Northgate and Kesgrave all understood to be oversubscribed, and St Alban’s traditionally being a popular school for parents to send their children.

Between the four schools, nearly 6,500 pupils are educated.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “Suffolk County Council has recently expanded Kesgrave and Northgate schools and is in the process of expanding Copleston in partnership with the Department for Education.

“These expansions will support the current demand for school places.

“There are also prospects for new schools around east Ipswich should plans for future housing progress, including the proposed development around Adastral Park.”

A spokesman from Copleston has been approached for comment but was unavailable at the time of publication.

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