IPSWICH: School hopes to be united

IPSWICH: A school split over two campuses could soon be united in a new purpose-built complex despite Government spending cuts.

The council has assured head teacher Odran Doran, who is at the helm of the new Bridge School, that the building project to bring the two halves of his special school together is a “top priority”.

The Bridge School was created in September when the former Heathside Primary School, in Heath Road, merged with secondary school Belstead, in Sprites Lane.

When the partnership was announced it was intended that the two schools would relocate to a modern facility on the site of Westbourne Sports College, in Marlow Road, Ipswich in 2014.

However, Mr Doran said: “Sadly, with the demise of the Building Schools for the Future programme the plans for the school to be co-located on a mainstream site have been scrapped.”

He is confident that the drawings could still be resurrected at a later date.

“We hope the plans are not dead and buried, we are keeping our fingers crossed but it depends on the funding that is available.

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“We are a priority, Suffolk County Council has said it doesn’t envisage us being on two sites long term,” he said.

Once the government has announced its final plans for bringing its budgets in line, the local authority will be able to assess what funds are available but in the meantime Mr Doran and his team will continue to travel across town.

“It does present its challenges having sites that are nine miles apart,” said the headteacher. “My days can be hectic and there are a lot of practical reasons why it would be better to be on one site.

“We now only have 35 students at the secondary campus and it was felt that in order for it to be viable we needed it to merge.

“Each class is linked with one at the opposite campus and the children have been visiting, which gives the younger pupils a chance to make friends before they move up to the secondary school.”

n What do you think of the plans to bring the two sites together? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk