Plans for schools to be academies dealt a blow

IPSWICH/FELIXSTOWE: Hopes of three high schools being transformed into academies were dealt a blow last night.

Holywells High, in Ipswich, and the twin schools of Orwell and Deben, in Felixstowe, were all set for major changes. However, the plans have stalled after the Government revealed that the academy project is being scaled back.

Education Secretary Michael Gove announced that 75 schools around the country would not be proceeding in their present form and would instead face a further review. The outstanding schools, including the three Suffolk institutes, will not know until after the Comprehensive Spending Review in October how much, if any, funding they will get.

The Department for Education says there are no guarantees that they will receive any money at all.

However, Rob Cawley, executive headteacher of Orwell and Deben high schools – which the academy would replace – today vowed to keep fighting for Government funding.

“I will continue fighting for this alongside staff and governors because it is vital for Felixstowe,” he said.

“We have to remain positive about it happening and we’re lucky the academy build plans haven’t stopped completely – we are still pressing for this. I have been fighting for something in Felixstowe and it’s not about the academy– it’s about getting this town a brand new school with excellent facilities.”

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Mr Cawley previously called on parents and residents to help secure the �32million investment for a new 1,800-student school in the resort.

Proposals to develop Holywells, in Lindbergh Road, into the Ipswich Academy have also been halted.

Ben Gummer, MP for Ipswich, told the Evening Star that he would do everything in his power to bring the new educational facilities to Ipswich.

“While I am disappointed that Holywells had not been given immediate funds for new buildings, the statement by Michael Gove holds out the hope that we must simply wait until some savings are found.

“I have already lobbied ministers about the academy and I can assure everyone of south-east Ipswich that I will do everything I can to make sure we get the new building for Holywells High School that this community deserves.

“The Government simply cannot fail us on this vital school project.”

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