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School expansion to create more than 200 pupil places

PUBLISHED: 05:30 13 December 2018

Copleston High School will have a new classroom block, allowing it to create another 200 student places  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Copleston High School will have a new classroom block, allowing it to create another 200 student places Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A school is set to create a new teaching block to help it meet a growing demand for pupil places.

Work at the Ipswich school could start as early as January 2019 Picture: RACHEL EDGEWork at the Ipswich school could start as early as January 2019 Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The new building at Copleston High School in Ipswich will cater for more than 200 additional pupils after planning permission was approved for the site near the school’s Foxhall Road entrance, close to St Elizabeth’s Hospice.

The hospice initially raised concerns that the privacy of its residents would be compromised by the view from windows overlooking their grounds.

As an amendment to the plans, developers agreed to obscure glass windows overlooking the hospice and for trees to be planted along the border of school grounds.

Councillors passed the plans unanimously at an Ipswich Borough Council planning meeting on Wednesday, December 12.

The application came amid a struggle for places across east Ipswich’s secondary schools, with Copleston, Northgate and Kesgrave all understood to be oversubscribed.

Shaun Connor, Copleston High School headteacher, said: “Copleston is a very popular and very oversubscribed school.

“The previous classrooms were built in the 1930s when the school was a fraction of its size.

“They are too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter – they are no longer fit for purpose.

“This scheme will make the classroom futureproof – for the next 50 years they will be suitable for our staff and students to use.

“Our students are fantastic and they deserve better.”

Councillor John Carnall said the plans were “a glowing endorsement” of Copleston High School.

“I think the principal has made this case superbly,” said Mr Carnall.

Fellow councillor Carole Jones added: “This is a welcome application and all my concerns have been answered.”

Construction of the new building will begin as soon as January 2019.

The second phase of the plan is to demolish parts of the existing school that have fallen into disrepair.

This will be carried out after the construction of the new classrooms is complete.

The school currently has 1,480 pupils and 300 sixth form places. The new building will create an additional 150 school places and 60 sixth form places.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “Suffolk County Council has recently expanded Kesgrave and Northgate schools and is in the process of expanding Copleston in partnership with the Department for Education.”

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