School bids for specialist status

By David GreenA HIGH school that was left devastated by the rejection of its bid for specialist status is to make a fresh application.Stradbroke High School, the smallest secondary school in Suffolk with just 350 pupils, took only 13 months to raise the required £35,000 to support its application for business and enterprise status.

By David Green

A HIGH school that was left devastated by the rejection of its bid for specialist status is to make a fresh application.

Stradbroke High School, the smallest secondary school in Suffolk with just 350 pupils, took only 13 months to raise the required £35,000 to support its application for business and enterprise status.

Pupils and parents took part in a variety of events and there were two major donations, from the Adnams brewery company in Southwold and Broadwater Mouldings of Horham.


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A successful application would have brought an allocation of £135,000 capital funding for new classroom facilities and a further £180,000 spread over four years.

However, the Department for Education and Skills rejected the school's bid and said its application was “below the required standard”.

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School headteacher, Dave Shorten, said at the time of the rejection that the funds raised would be banked while clarification was sought on some of the issues raised in the department's response.

Mr Shorten said yesterday a fresh application would be lodged in October following the start of new business courses that were expected to bolster the school's case.

“Few schools are awarded specialist status the first time round and setbacks are inevitable in a process as complicated and bureaucratic as the specialist schools initiative,” he added.

Mr Shorten said he was confident the new application would attract a positive response.

Earlier this year four other Suffolk secondary schools achieved specialist status, taking the total in the county to 22.

A Department for Education and Skills spokeswoman said it could not comment on individual applications, but added the process for attaining specialist school status was “highly competitive”.

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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