Don's lose new school - Gummer

FELIXSTOWE: Urgent action is needed to tackle education standards in Felixstowe - and the town must not miss the chance of a �32 million new school.

FELIXSTOWE: Urgent action is needed to tackle education standards in Felixstowe - and the town must not miss the chance of a �32 million new school.

That's the view of MP John Gummer, who told parents the resort's young people deserved more opportunities, better teaching and facilities, without the need to travel to Ipswich and Woodbridge.

However, he believes if the money for the new school - which will replace Deben and Orwell high schools - is not secured by the general election, it will be lost and the project will not go ahead.

“Whatever else happens, we have to get that money - and to be absolutely blunt, if we don't get it before the election then afterwards there ain't going to be any money,” he said.

“Once we have the money, the school can be built. Then we have to insist there is a proper relationship with the academy and make those local connections which are necessary.

“We have got to do what's possible and not what's perfect

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“This school needs to happen because the situation in Felixstowe is very bad indeed.

“If you look at all the figures and the comparison indicators, it really is not acceptable.

“If I lived in Felixstowe, however difficult it would be, I would take my child to Farlingaye.

“If I have a criticism of myself, it is that it has taken five years to get this far.”

Felixstowe Against an Academy School in our Town is concerned about creation of an academy, fearing it will erode parent involvement, handing over the running of the new school to an external company.

The county council though believes action must be taken - Orwell High fared particularly poorly in recent league tables - and an academy is the best option.

Mr Gummer said his research showed the Academies Enterprise Trust's schools had strong local links, remarkable academic success, and were tough on discipline and behaviour.

Does Felixstowe need a new school? Write to Star Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk