Pair of new high schools in Ipswich and Martlesham will ease pressure on oversubscribed schools
PUBLISHED: 16:00 03 September 2017
Plans for two new high schools in Ipswich within the next five years will ease the burden on oversubscribed secondary schools, education bosses have said.
Suffolk County Council confirmed that its plans to address the growth in population and a need for more secondary schools to cope with the demand will go ahead by 2022, catering for around 1,500 pupils between them.
The Local Government Association on Friday warned that nearly half of the all local authorities in the country faced a crisis by 2022, with as many as 125,000 youngsters at risk of not gaining a place.
But education chiefs in Suffolk said it had been carrying out work to make sure it could cope with the growth in pupil numbers.
Gordon Jones, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said increases in primary school numbers were now filtering through to secondary schools. He added: “We are in the process of completing a number of projects that will provide additional places to mitigate that increase.
“Recently we have built a new high school in Bury St Edmunds, opening initially at 600 places but with the ability to expand to 900 when places are required.
“We have also expanded two high schools in Ipswich to take an additional class in year seven, and there are plans for a further two high schools to be built in the Ipswich area in the next five years depending on the speed of housing growth.”
Although it is not yet clear what stage of development the plans are in, the county council confirmed one would be developed as part of the Ipswich Garden Suburb (Northern Fringe) catering for around 900 pupils, while the planned development at Martlesham’s Adastral Park would feature a 600-place high school.
Northgate and Copleston high schools – which along with Kesgrave and St Alban’s are already oversubscribed – were the schools which expanded to take an additional class.
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter said: “We have seen historically there was a push for new housing but there hasn’t been enough thought to the importance of educational, health or transport infrastructure to go with that. I very much welcome that there is now a more joined up approach to the new developments.”