2733 sign petition opposing Beccles Free School
As the statutory consultation on the Beccles Free School proposal closed it was revealed that a total of 2016 adults have signed the above petition opposing the Seckford Foundation's proposed Free School. In addition 717 under 18s have signed. This is more than five times the 513 people Seckford claim originally expressed an interest in the School.
The petition shows the strength of feeling in the town against the free school which would almost certainly see damage to the established Sir John Leman High School possibly affecting the viability of its sixth form. In the longer term it is hard to see that there is really room for two secondary schools in a town the size of Beccles.
What support there was for the Beccles Free School bid seemed to rapidly disappear when Seckford Foundation announced the school would open for two years 7 miles away in Carlton Coleville. This despite the original proposers pitching the free school as easing the transition between three tier and two tier by allowing children to stay at the Middle School.
All the local primary Headteachers with one exception and Beccles Town Council have also expressed opposition to the proposed Free School.
The petition is due to be formally handed over later in the week at Sir John Leman High School which is also the host to BBC Radio 4's Any Questions? on Friday evening.
On my Blog today I launched a new Free School's page with a map, details and links for all free school applications in Suffolk. I have also published on WikiSuffolk a further response to the consultation sent to me by Frank Joyce a teacher of 19 years standing and Secretary to Lowestoft Coalition against the Cuts.