Felixstowe school remains undaunted

A FELIXSTOWE school today vowed to "try and try again" after its bid to be a technology college, which would bring a £500,000 funding boost, was rejected.

A FELIXSTOWE school today vowed to "try and try again" after its bid to be a technology college, which would bring a £500,000 funding boost, was rejected.

Orwell High had raised £50,000 to support its application but was disappointed after government education chiefs failed to give its work the tick it desired.

They decided the bid was not up to scratch and needed further work – and now the school in Maidstone Road knows it must try harder.

Headteacher David Forrest said the school would be resubmitting its bid in the autumn after more work had been done on it.

"I understand that 70 per cent of schools are turned down first time, though we did have high hopes for our bid," he said.

"We are now receiving a lot of help with our application and have been told certain areas where it was considered under-strength and others where more information was needed.

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"We will keep on going and keep on trying until we have persuaded them that we should have technology status. Some colleagues at other schools have told me they were successful on their second, third, fourth or even fifth go."

The school will not be standing still and the preparation of the bid had helped to identify a number of projects which would be put into action whether the next application was successful or not.

"The process has been very useful to us and we have now developed a very detailed set of plans in relation to what we want to do in the school," said Mr Forrest.

Meanwhile, preparations are being made by Deben High School, Garrison Lane, Felixstowe, to bid to become a specialist arts centre.

The school has raised £12,000 towards its £50,000 target and is appealing to parents for support, as well as looking at business partnerships and grant aid.

If its bid is successful, it will get £100,000 from government towards a building project – and hopes this will unlock other grant aid to create a performance space which can be used by the school during the day, and at other times by the town's many theatre and dance groups as a venue.

The school would also receive around £125,000 extra grant aid for four years towards development of the arts in the school but also to be used for equipment, staffing and teaching projects across the whole curriculum.

Deben has decided on arts status as this is one of the its great strengths. It has achieved outstanding exam results in the arts in the past few years and is a holder of the Arts Mark Gold achievement award.

But headteacher Terry Ring has stressed that while the school will specialise in performing arts and visual art, it will still be a comprehensive school offering a full curriculum and the extra money will be used to benefit many subjects.

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