Mid Suffolk: Group, Education in Suffolk, aims to setup new free school at Bacton or Stanton

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Matt Hunter matt.hunter@archant.co.uk
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
6:00 AM

A bid to create a free school to cater for students whose parents “do not want” them to go to high schools in Stowmarket and Stowupland has began.

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The group, Education in Suffolk, is making enquiries to set up the school at either Bacton Middle School or Blackbourne Middle School in Stanton.

Made up of a dozen professionals, some current teachers and parents, it argues students attending Stowmarket and Stowupland high schools need alternatives as both were given “requires improvement” grades by Ofsted last year.

A spokesman for Education in Suffolk said: “Unfortunately the position we are in as parents in the Stowmarket area is that we feel there is a need. It sounds bad but the two high schools are in the unfortunate position of not having done very well with Ofsted.

“There are parents sending pupils as far away as Diss because they do not want to send them to Stowmarket or Stowupland.”

Since the high schools’ Ofsted reports both have had follow-up mini reviews which have detailed some of the improvements made at Stowmarket and Stowupland.

Phil Vigrass, headteacher of Blackbourne, said one possibility was for a primary school to take over the site.

“There are ongoing discussions over the viability of moving Stanton Primary School on to the site so there’s the possibility that the buildings will be used,” he said.

“We know Joanna Spicer, the county councillor, is working very hard to see that happen.”

A free school application could be made to the Department of Education in September.

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