Felixstowe: Academy to assess impact free school will have on its curriculum

BOSSES at Felixstowe Academy are drawing up a report to analyse what impact a new 600-pupil free school in the town would have on the education it provides.

Executive principal Stephen Chamberlain said the Academies Enterprise Trust would not be commenting on whether a free school should or should not open, but was required to produce an unbiased report.

The impact assessment report was requested by the Department for Education as part of the next stage in its determination of the free school proposal.

“The requirement is on us to prepare an objective and formal report to look at a number of issues as to what would happen if the number of pupils dropped at Felixstowe Academy,” he said.

“This will include teaching, the number of teachers, our ability to deliver the curriculum planned for the new building, and so on.

“The report will not criticise but there will be an impact and that impact needs to be explained.”

Felixstowe Academy currently operates from two campuses – the former Deben and Orwell high schools – but will move to a new �20million state-of-the-art school building when it is complete.

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Parents had been campaigning for many years for the two high schools to be merged into one new school. Now that has succeeded, many people involved in education in the town have been surprised by the move to create a free school.

The team behind the new Felixstowe Community School have been told they will be interviewed by the DfE about their application on May 24, with the final outcome announced by July.

The aim is to take over the old Deben High building in Garrison Lane from September 2013, to offer parents more choice, create a centre of educational excellence, and to reduce the number of parents sending their children to schools outside the town.