Parents disappointed over axing of new school

FELIXSTOWE: Parents who waged a campaign against a new academy being set up in Felixstowe are disappointed that proposals for a new �32million school have been axed as part of government cuts.

Pete Barnsley, from Felixstowe Against an Academy School in our Town (FAAST), said families were not against a new school but opposed to the idea of an academy run by an outside company with little involvement from parents and the community.

“It really would be a big shame if the new school doesn’t go ahead,” he said. “A new school would have been a major bonus.

“What we really need now is for the county council to explain exactly what is happening and to hold a public meeting in Felixstowe for parents so we can all be told what the future holds and ask questions.”

Proposals had been agreed for Deben and Orwell high schools to close and a new school catering for 1,850 students aged 11 to 19 to be built on the Orwell campus in Maidstone Road as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme, which has been spiked.

The schools are currently waiting for information from the government and county council on the situation.

John Barker, chairman of governors at Orwell High, said it was too early to comment, and Rob Cawley, head at Deben High, said he was waiting for further details and the schools would release a joint statement in due course.

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Town and district councillor Mike Deacon, was dismayed at the Conservative-Lib Dem government’s decision to review the BSF programme after Labour had pledged that the Felixstowe funding was safe.

“We need reassurance that the new building for the amalgamated Deben-Orwell High Schools is safe. I am calling on our new MP, Therese Coffey, to visit Felixstowe to talk to parents, teachers and governors and explain what is happening,” he said.

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