Parents vow to keep up fight

Parents campaigning against a proposed new �32 million school in Felixstowe being run as an academy say their biggest concern is lack of local control.

FELIXSTOWE: Parents campaigning against a proposed new �32 million school in Felixstowe being run as an academy say their biggest concern is lack of local control.

Suffolk County Council has decided the school - which will replace Deben and Orwell high schools - should be run by the Essex-based Academies Enterprise Trust (AET).

The schools had helped form the Felixstowe Learning Trust, which also bid to run the new school and was made reserve choice.

Campaign group Felixstowe Against an Academy School in the Town (FAAST) says its main worry is there will not be enough local input into the new academy and parents will be poorly represented.

Academies tend to have two parent-governors - Orwell currently has seven and Deben six.

A spokesman for FAAST said its supporters were not against a new school.

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“What is being objected to is the appointment of an Essex-based company to run this school in preference to a locally formed trust when there was very little to choose between the bids,” he said.

“The county council recommendation appoints AET to run the new school as an academy but, if this does not happen, the Felixstowe Learning Trust, as the second preferred candidate, would then run the school.

“But what Felixstowe will get is a lot more community accountability, control and involvement and a very good solution.

“FAAST is campaigning to retain the rights of parents and the local community to have strong involvement in the running of its schools.”

Secretary of state for children, schools and families Ed Balls has approved in principle the academy plan. A final decision will be made next year.

Should Felixstowe have an academy? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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