Super school to get go-ahead

PROPOSALS for a 1,900-student super-school at Felixstowe are set to get the go-ahead, it was revealed today.

PROPOSALS for a 1,900-student super-school at Felixstowe are set to get the go-ahead, it was revealed today.

It will mean Deben and Orwell High schools will close and instead the town will have just one new high school for 11 to 19s.

The �30 million-plus school project will open in 2013, and be built on Orwell's site in Maidstone Road, Walton, and will also mean Deben's buildings in Garrison Lane and playing fields in Langley Avenue being sold for housing.

Suffolk County Council's cabinet is being recommended to accept the “one site, single school” option at its meeting on January 13 - even though more parents who commented during the consultation wanted to keep Orwell and Deben.

Of those who responded, 287 said they wanted to keep the current set-up, and 277 voted for change.

The council though says the split was “reasonably equal” but the advantages of a single school are overwhelming.

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Building Schools for the Future programme manager Phil Houghton said the biggest advantage of one school would be to pool resources to offer the widest possible education.

Both Deben and Orwell heads and governors are in favour of one school.

Some parents voiced concern about the new school being too large and could affect students' learning.

Mr Houghton said: “The joint solution proposed by the school in terms of the educational aspects involves the creation of a model of 'schools within a school' - whereby there would be, say, four schools within the umbrella, each running its own timetable and thus instead of having one school of approximately 1800, there would instead be four schools each of 450.

“This means that pupils benefit from the personalised nature of being within a smaller 'school' and at the same time benefit from the fact that a large overall establishment could deliver the widest possible curriculum and opportunities for all pupils.”

If cabinet agrees the new school, the next stage will be to see if an educational trust or faith organisation wants to run it.

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

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