Kesgrave High School looks set to become a multi-academy trust

The fireworks display was held at Kesgrave High School.

The fireworks display was held at Kesgrave High School. - Credit: Archant

A headteacher has promised to only serve the surrounding communities if plans go ahead to transform his school into a multi-academy trust (MAT).

Kesgrave High School headteacher, Nigel Burgoyne.

Kesgrave High School headteacher, Nigel Burgoyne. - Credit: Archant

Kesgrave High School looks set to make the conversion next year after no objections were made at a public meeting on Tuesday night.

The school became a single academy in 2011, but the change to a MAT would see links made with other schools in Ipswich and east Suffolk.

Speaking at the meeting held at Kesgrave High, headteacher Nigel Burgoyne said: “We are committed to being a local trust for local schools and for the local community. I think that is crucial.”

Mr Burgoyne said becoming a MAT would help Kesgrave to expand its facilities more easily to cater for the rising number of pupils applying to the school.

Kesgrave High School is at full capacity, Mr Burgoyne said, as are many secondary schools in Suffolk, including Copleston, St Alban’s, Farlingaye and Northgate.

And with large-scale housing developments planned for the area, such as at BT’s Adastral Park site, the situation is likely to get worse.

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“There’s pressure next September and we don’t have space to put these pupils,” Mr Burgoyne said. “If you are a MAT you automatically get that build money.”

A parent with a daughter at Kesgrave asked Mr Burgoyne at the meeting what benefits the conversion would have for current pupils and if the money, which would potentially be spent on making the change, could be better used on education.

Mr Burgoyne said the school would not have to use its funds to pay members or trustees of the MAT.

He added: “I think it’s about that networking and sharing of facilities and resources and there are then sometimes savings we can get. For instance if we have a catering contract we can get a much better deal with several schools involved.”

Leaders from Kesgrave are due to meet with academy bosses in November to confirm its decision and the conversion process would then take four to five months.

Earlier this year three schools in Kesgrave and Martlesham Heath – Cedarwood Primary School, Heath Primary School and Gorseland Primary School – started working on plans to form a MAT, but decided not to proceed after the Department for Education expressed concerns.

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