Brandon: New free school clears final hurdle as funding deal reached

A FORTHCOMING free school has cleared its final hurdle after funding was agreed with the Secretary of State Michael Gove.

The news means IES Breckland is ready to open its doors to students in Brandon and the surrounding area from September 2012.

The funding agreement witht he Department for Education is the formal framework under which the school will operate and represents the final Governmental seal of approval for the school.

The facility, which is on the site of the current Breckland Middle School, was given initial approval in December 2011.

The new free school plan has been driven by the Sabres Trust.

The school will be run by principal Sherry Zand.

Jodie King, manager of IES UK, said: “Getting to this stage of the opening process was not guaranteed and it has been the overwhelming enthusiasm of local people for this school that has helped us to get where we are today.

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“I am confident that we have taken tough but correct decisions for the good of the school, to offer outstanding education here in Brandon with the curriculum, principal and staff all in place.

“The next stage is working with the community, including personnel from the nearby RAF base, on the school refurbishment; a challenge we are all looking forward to.

“I would also encourage prospective parents to get in touch if they are interested in finding out more about IES Breckland or applying for a place; our doors are always open!”

Gordon Warnes, chairman of the Sabres Trust, said: “We are delighted that the funding agreement has now been signed.

“Applying for a free school has been a long project conducted over a number of years but Sabres has always been focused on the end result; that education can continue in our town.

“IES Breckland will open its doors in September 2012 as promised.

“Student induction will start on the 5th of September and formal lessons begin on September 10 with registration at 8.25am.

“The Sabres Trust are grateful for the support we have received from so many people throughout the whole process and look forward to welcoming the new students to IES Breckland on its official opening day.”

IES Breckland will be holding the latest in a series of events for prospective parents and students on June 9 at Brandon Leisure Centre where the new school staff will be on hand to discuss plans for the school in more detail. The existing middle school is being closed by Suffolk County Council.