Ian Goodyer's response to Beccles Free School Consultation
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The full text of the submission is available to read and download at the Wikisuffolk website. Ian thinks that the free school bid should be rejected by the DfE for a number of reasons that I have summarised here:
- There is no credible evidence of demand for the free school: parents were not asked the crucial question about if the school would be their "first choice"
- Data gathered in support of one proposal cannot be adduced as evidence in support of a completely different set of arrangements: demand was expressed for the Beccles Middle site proposal and is being used to support the new proposal 7 miles away in Carlton Colville.
- Survey responses may have been influenced by misinformation: Tony Callaghan one of the original proposers has posted misleading information online about free iPads for students, staff transfers and the quality of provision at Sit John Leman High School
- The public consultation has been perfunctory and inadequate: Lack of proper recording of verbal expressions at the consultations meeting. Unsatisfactory location and notice for Carlton Colville meeting, inadequate knowledge from staff
- Local schools will be undermined if the free school goes ahead: Sir John Leman might even not be able to continue its sixth form
- The free school is likely to lead to less choice for local children: As resources end up diverted to the Free School breath of curriculum may be cut at Sir John Leman and the limited free school curriculum could not fill the gap
- Free school students studying for GCSEs will face major disruption: At the time of the consultation parents were warned of the "chaos" of moving to Sir John Leman and sold the fact they could stay at the Middle School but now the school will open first in Carlton Colville and children will move in two years disrupting studies
- The free school proposal represents a scandalous waste of public money: There will be a need to refurbish the Carlton Colville site for two years and then the Middle School site
- Due diligence may have been lacking in the free school bid: The use by one of the original proposers of her involvement to promote her MTM Schools Consultancy business raised the prospect of a conflict of interest (not any financial impropriety as she has not been paid)
The consultation closes on Tuesday 28th February so you still (just) have time to respond! Have a read of the consultation document and leaflet and email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org