Minister to decide school's academy fate

A GOVERNMENT minister will decide whether Felixstowe's new �32 million high school will be an academy, it emerged today.

A GOVERNMENT minister will decide whether Felixstowe's new �32 million high school will be an academy, it emerged today.

County councillors have agreed Essex-based Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) should run the school, which is set to open in 2013 and cater for 1,850 students aged 11 to 19.

It will replace Deben High and Orwell High, which are set to close, and will be built on Orwell's campus.

However, before the project can proceed further it needs to be approved by secretary of state for children, schools and families, Ed Balls, who will decide if an academy is acceptable in Felixstowe.


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If he rejects the academy plan, then Felixstowe Learning Trust (FLT) - set up by the current managers of Deben and Orwell - will be allowed to run the new school.

While disappointed that its bid was unsuccessful, FLT has pledged to continue working together for the foreseeable future in the best interests of the town.

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“That commitment will of course include working constructively with anyone who shares our interests or holds responsibility for education in Felixstowe,” said Jon O'Connor, FLT project manager.

Four bids were received to run the school - the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich also proposed either a voluntary aided school or an academy.

Felixstowe councillor Mike Ninnmey said he was concerned the faith school bid was rejected because the town would have only one school and parents would have no choice.

“I think that is unfair and this should have been pointed out to the diocese at the start of the process,” he said

Council chiefs said AET's proposals showed a radical approach defining how standards would be raised, with excellent references and specific examples of where it has worked elsewhere.

Does Felixstowe need a new school? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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