Is Ixworth and Stanton "Free School" MP or parent led?
|Matthew Hancock MP for West Suffolk|
Seating is limited so we would appreciate parents and carers only at the meeting
Recently these three middle schools had their academy applications turned down by Gove due to the adverse impact the proposed 9-13 Middle Schools would have on an area where there is a move to two tier education.
Perhaps understandably the Middles are desperate to stay open and the proposed free school is the latest attempt. On the recent failure of their Academy bid Ixworth's Head Glenice Francis is clearly unhappy when quoted in the Evening Star:
We feel that the academy route offered the best opportunity to provide stability and maintain and improve educational standards for our current and future pupils.This idea has come as Suffolk County Council and the Thurston partnership have published a joint consultation document on moving to two tier. Both the Partnership and County Council have clear websites and are holding open public consultations on the proposals.
I wrote to the email address on the letter from "Ixworth & Stanton Free School Parent Group" who's letter I downloaded from Beyton Middle School on Blackbourne Middle letterhead. The email address curiously is Ixworth Middle's admin account. I asked if I could attend the meeting and for the names of the people who run the parent group. After much prompting the Head of Ixworth fobbed me off with an anonymous hotmail account for the "parents group" and the same excuse on space.
I was, however, able to find a bit out about the proposal from the local Tory MP's website. Where there are two articles enthusing about the proposals and claiming Education Secretary Gove supported the bids (actually it looked more like he was welcoming the application). The other article is actually a letter from Hancock to parents urging them to support the Free School.
The question for me really is who is leading this bid? Parents? Schools? or MP Matthew Hancock? And does Suffolk really need another free school based on a former Middle site or are we setting up problems of over supply for the future. These are serious issues and it is a shame that "Ixworth & Stanton Free School Parent Group" could not find a larger venue so a serious debate could be held.