School shake-up set for Suffolk

SCHOOLS in Felixstowe and Ipswich could be merged as part of a major shake-up of primary education.

SCHOOLS in Felixstowe and Ipswich could be merged as part of a major shake-up of primary education.

Suffolk County Council is undertaking a huge review of all primary schools, looking at the number of places required on school rolls for the future as well as the state of some of the buildings, which are not up to modern standards.

In Felixstowe, it is considering the future of Causton Junior and its feeder school Maidstone Infants, and Colneis Junior and its feeder Fairfield Infants.

In Ipswich, Castle Hill Infants and Castle Hill Junior schools could be amalgamated.

The plan in Felixstowe is to merge Maidstone and Causton, and Fairfield and Colneis, into two schools on the larger junior sites.

Colneis, built 40 years ago, stands on a large site in Colneis Road with room for expansion - though not large enough for a 90-pupil infants section, so there would be less parental choice in future.

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Building a new primary school would cost �6 million, while extending and refurbishing Colneis would cost �3.5m to �5m.

Fairfield, in High Road West, is one of the town's oldest schools but in the past few years has been significantly improved, including a new �500,000 hall added two years ago. Its site could possibly be used for housing.

Jane Reed, head teacher of Fairfield and Colneis, said: “Joining the schools together as a primary school would be extremely sensible - it's an exciting project and will be lovely.

“Staff at both schools work tremendously hard and monitor the children closely to make sure it doesn't happen, but there is always what we call 'transfer dip' when children move and their attainment drops temporarily and being together would stop that.”

Maidstone Road, another older-style school, stands just 300 yards away from Causton Junior, a more modern building on the edge of the Orwell High campus, where a new �32m super-school is to be built.

Do you like the idea of the schools merging? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail