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Ipswich: Sixth form One could ditch plans to cut school week to three days for students with learning disabilities

PUBLISHED: 18:52 02 May 2014 | UPDATED: 18:52 02 May 2014

One, formerly known as Suffolk One, has faced pressure to drop controversial plans of moving from a five-day school week for pupils with profound or moderate learning difficulties to a Monday to Wednesday timetable.

One, formerly known as Suffolk One, has faced pressure to drop controversial plans of moving from a five-day school week for pupils with profound or moderate learning difficulties to a Monday to Wednesday timetable.

Archant

The Ipswich sixth form college at the centre of a heated row over plans for a three-day school week for students with learning disabilities may perform a dramatic U-turn, the Star has learnt.

One, formerly known as Suffolk One, has faced pressure to drop controversial plans of moving from a five-day school week for pupils with profound or moderate learning difficulties to a Monday to Wednesday timetable. Angry parents condemned the shake-up of the foundation learning courses, saying it will unfairly penalise vulnerable children.

The Scrivener Drive sixth form said it will match other post-16 colleges in providing foundation learning over three days when it comes into effect in September.

It said students with learning disabilities will still have a full-time education of more than 540 hours of teaching and support.

However, Ipswich Mencap branded additional claims from One that students with learning difficulties cannot cope with a Monday-to-Friday education because they find it too tiring as “a load of codswallop”.

And yesterday it was alleged the sixth form said in a letter sent to parents and carers of pupils enrolled on a foundation learning course this September that it will “take a fresh look at the options open to the college in the light of continuing significant funding challenges”.

A spokesman for One confirmed a letter had been sent to parents and carers informing them of a “further period of extensive consultation”.

“It confirms that we will be commencing a further period of extensive consultation where all those who have been sent this letter – along with other stakeholders – will have the opportunity to contribute to the consultation process,” he said.

“At the end of the consultation period in mid-June, One will collate all the information, discuss this with governors and stakeholders and announce the outcome of this further consultation.”

The spokesman did not comment on the allegation it was considering backtracking on the plans.

It is understood 14 parents have launched legal proceedings.

A spokesman for the group said: “As a group of parents we remain fully committed to ensuring that our children get a fair deal which ensures that they have equality of access to post sixteen education.

“We welcome the fact that a consultation and impact assessment will now take place, which is in keeping with the law.

“We are continuing to receive legal advice about the next steps in the journey to ensure that our children receive the education they are legally and morally entitled to.”

Emergency services were called to an incident in Stoke-by-Nayland where a car overturned and ended up on its roof.

A hugely popular Suffolk band competition which champions new musical talent will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.

Firefighters tackled a two-car blaze in Haverhill after a suspect was seen setting one alight by a member of the public.

A damning dossier compiled by a senior whistleblower from the region’s ambulance trust has claimed at least 40 patients died or were harmed due to delays over Christmas and New Year - including one person who froze to death.

A celebrity hairdresser visited West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds to give a masterclass to students and answer questions on the industry.

Two high-end cycles – worth £10,000 in total – were stolen after burglars broke into a garage in Elmsett, near Hadleigh.

Staff and students at Colchester Academy are celebrating their success after the school received its first ever ‘Good’ Ofsted inspection.

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