Gummer to join school debate

SUFFOLK Coastal MP John Gummer will give his views on the controversial proposals for a new �32 million high school in Felixstowe at a public meeting on Thursday night.

FELIXSTOWE: Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer will give his views on the controversial proposals for a new �32 million high school in Felixstowe at a public meeting on Thursday night.

The MP has held several meetings with members of the Felixstowe Against an Academy School in the Town (FAAST) protest group and has agreed to discuss the issue with parents.

The county council has agreed the new school - to open in four years' time and replace Deben and Orwell - should be an academy run by the Essex-based Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) and says the move will improve standards.

The government has already accepted the project in principle and a formal decision is expected in the next few months.

Pete Barnsley, spokesman for FAAST, said: “Mr Gummer has been working very hard behind the scenes and has drawn his conclusions and has agreed to come and speak to us.

“This meeting will be a chance for people to hear the latest situation and also to ask him questions.

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“It should be a very interesting evening and we are hoping it will be well attended.”

The meeting takes place on Thursday at 7.30pm in the main hall at Deben High School, Garrison Lane, Felixstowe.

FAAST has written and sent a petition containing more than 600 signatures to secretary of state for children, schools and families Ed Balls asking him to reject the academy plan.

The new school will be built on Orwell's campus, catering for 1,850 students aged 11 to 19.

Should the new school be an academy? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk