Seckford Foundation provoke fury with free school banner in Carlton Colville
Having failed to turn up at the public meeting on Sunday organised by Carlton Colville Town Council and ignored emails since requesting an explanation the Seckford Foundation appear determined to provoke local residents in North Suffolk. Since the meeting on Sunday someone has turned up at the former Carlton Colville Primary School site, apparently without the consent of the County Council who own the building, and put up a sign stating Beccles Free School: Your child, your choice.
It is difficult to imagine a more provocative action by the Seckford Foundation who appear to behave with impunity totally ignoring the wishes of local people.
This follows them smearing opponents in the press as "enemies of choice and opportunity" and standing by and doing nothing whilst the DfE and their agents Cambridge Education made allegations, which were proved to be untrue, that opponents of the free school had "intimidated" staff during a consultation meeting in Carlton Colville. Claims that the police were involved were later retracted and an explanation that they had consulted the police for advice on future events substituted.
I understand that Suffolk County Council have ordered the Seckford Foundation to remove the banner. Given the site is 7 miles from Beccles and the school is not meant to be located in Carlton Colville for longer than 2 years it is difficult to see this as genuine publicity. It looks more like staking a very visible claim on the building.
At the public meeting the community made it clear they were unhappy that the Seckford Foundation did not consult them about their plans for the site. This seems a very strange way to deal with these concerns and appears to undermine local MP Peter Aldous's claims that this is not a "done deal".