New hope for Ipswich schools

FELIXSTOWE/IPSWICH: Campaigners and community leaders are today gearing up to battle with renewed vigour and hope for new schools in both Felixstowe and Ipswich.

They believe Chancellor George Osborne’s major House of Commons statement - which centred on huge, nationwide, cutbacks - could still pave the ways for up to four secondary schools in both Ipswich and Felixstowe.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer and his Suffolk Coastal counterpart, Therese Coffey, are at the forefront of the campaigning after a chaotic series of announcements from the Department of Education earlier this year.

Mr Osborne announced that on top of 600 school projects already approved, the next four years would see �15.8 billion available for a new phase of school building.

“Our job is to ensure that our vitally-needed schools are in the �15.8 billion pot as we go forwards,” said Mr Gummer

That puts a new Holywells establishment in Ipswich and a new Orwell High/Deben in Felixstowe firmly back on the agenda, delighting him and neighbouring Suffolk Coastal MP, Therese Coffee.

Mr Gummer said: “I hope that Holywells is already far enough down the path to benefit from that and I shall be trying to push the case for Chantry and Stoke High as well.”

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“Now I shall start lobbying (education secretary) Michael Gove to ensure we get what we need in Ipswich.”

The news about the school investment also cheered campaigners in Felixstowe who have been hoping for a new building to replace Orwell and Deben High Schools.

MP for Suffolk Coastal, Therese Coffey, said: “We working very hard hard with the new executive headteacher, Rob Cawley, and we’re all determined to win this fight for Felixstowe.

“We have to be realistic and bring in the project at far less than the �32 million currently quoted. But Felixstowe and its townsfolk deserve this new school and we will fight hard to ensure it gets it.”