An appeal to the Seckford Foundation

Dear Mr Watson,
Officer watson
Graham Watson
Seckford Director
A number of us have campaigned strongly to oppose your attempts to open a school in Beccles that it is clear the local community doesn’t want. Even the Seckford Foundation accept that this campaign has been successful.

Put simply we won the argument and parents have voted with their feet with only 37 choosing your school.

And remember it was Mark Bee, local Tory Councillor for Beccles and the Leader of Suffolk County Council that first suggested parents “vote with their feet” not me or Jeremy Rowe.

Mark Bee and Peter Aldous are local politicians that understand their communities. The Government were foolish to ignore them and to be honest so were you.

Mark Bee
Beccles County Cllr
Leader of Suffolk CC
As you saw at the Waveney Scrutiny Committee every single local elected representative in Beccles opposed the school. The MP Peter Aldous, the County Councillor Mark Bee, the District Councillors and all 17 of the Town Councillors.

Indeed in Waveney all four of the political parties - Conservative, Labour, UKIP and Green are opposed at least in the main. An amazing coalition.

Today there is an opportunity to end this whole sorry affair by listening to Mark Bee and Peter Aldous.

They have presented a solution that could allow everyone to move forward and begin to work for the people that really matter in all of this. Suffolk children.

Consolidating your schools at Saxmundham is a pragmatic solution. There is real parental demand there and I really feel that your engagement in Beccles has detracted from the Saxmundham School.

Peter Aldous MP
Waveney MP
You could put all your energies into making it a really great school rather than being heckled in the street when talking to TV journalists and feeling you need to speed away out the back entrance of a Town Hall.

I am sure that if you were to adopt a more collaborative and less aggressive approach that local schools in Suffolk would work with you. You could find out about the North Suffolk Skills Centre, perhaps support and fund it rather than being involved in its demise. It could provide a very useful solution to the issue of the curriculum at your school complementing your academic subjects with a vocational choice.

I don’t doubt there are things we could all learn from Woodbridge and from you but it has become increasingly apparent when you say things like you are introducing competition into a system that hasn’t had it before that you don’t really have much knowledge about state education.

We have had competition for years, sometime fierce. Money follows the child and many parents - like me for example - take our choices seriously. We went to appeal to get our child into the school we wanted for him.

By working together we can all learn from each other and put our energies into making all of Suffolk’s schools as brilliant as they can be.

So you have a choice to make and speaking personally I would certainly work with you and any enlarged school in Saxmundham.

Please listen - not to me - but to Mark Bee and Peter Aldous!

James Hargrave
Seckford Foundation 1887469438352351427

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