Schools' bid will bring them closer

FELIXSTOWE'S two high schools are bidding for trust status as part of a project to bring them closer together.

FELIXSTOWE'S two high schools are bidding for trust status as part of a project to bring them closer together.

Orwell High and Deben High are set to merge in four years' time when a new �32 million school is built to replace them.

As part of the process towards the new school and to get greater involvement from the community, the schools' governors have now agreed to jointly seek trust status and to set up a charitable foundation to run them.

Peter Tomkins, head of Orwell High, said the schools were already working very closely with a joint sixth form, students from key stage four working across both school sites, and other projects.

He said: “We have been working on this project for about 18 months and on February 23 we will begin a four-week consultation with parents, staff and the community.

“The schools already work closely and over the next four years as we move towards the new school, that working will become much closer still and trust status will enable us to formalise that and ensure there is steady progress towards the new school.

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“It may be four-and-a-half years away but that is not really a long time and so we need to be putting things in place now.”

The aim is to attract support and trustees from all parts of the community - higher education, councils, training bodies, business and a wide variety of other organisations - to link the community together and make the new school a place for everyone to use.

University Campus Suffolk has already signed up and talks are taking place with major businesses which may become partners.

The trust may be able to take on the running of the new school, and as a charity it could also be able to bid for funds from sources which as a county council school the current leadership cannot.

However, it will remain a state maintained school.

Rob Cawley, head of Deben, said: “The two schools are working on a vision for the new school and we have a fantastic opportunity with a �32m investment to make a huge difference in Felixstowe which will affect the whole community.

“The trust is just the start of this work to raise the aspirations and achievements of the students in Felixstowe.”

n. What do you think of the proposal? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email

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