Rendlesham: Maharishi Free School Trust looking to open new school in 2014

PROPOSALS to open a free school in Suffolk promoting consciousness-based education and transcendental meditation will be re-submitted to the Government.

A bid by the Maharishi Free School Trust to start a school in Rendlesham, near Woodbridge, was turned down by officials earlier this year - with the Department for Education wanting to see changes to the proposed curriculum.

Those behind the plans went back to the drawing board and have now confirmed that they will re-apply in the hope of opening a school for youngsters aged 11-16 in September 2014.

The Trust is suggesting two possible locations in Rendlesham for the school but it will be the Department for Education that makes the final decision.

Barry Spivack, a member of the local steering committee, said: “The Maharishi Free School will be inclusive, open and welcoming to all members of the local community whatever their background.”

As well as traditional subjects the curriculum would include the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who is widely credited as having developed transcendental meditation.

The original Maharishi School in Lancashire was an independent school for 25 years before becoming a free school in September 2011.

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Mr Spivack continued: “The school was regularly rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted as it had achieved GCSE results twice as good as the national average. The school’s GCSE results, often the top in Lancashire, have also been in the top 2.5% nationally.”

Dr Ian Birnbaum, chairman of the board of governors of the Lancashire school and a retired director of education of the London borough of Sutton, said: “The Department for Education wanted us to modify our inter-disciplinary studies lessons and to improve our documentation regarding student assessment which we have done.

“Two educational advisors visited the school in September, both were experienced retired headteachers, and they commented on the ‘superb ethos’.

“The success is down to the daily practice of transcendental meditation which allows the pupils to develop inner confidence, greater self-esteem and provides the basis for success in school and later life.”

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