Seckford: Desperately Seeking Students

Rob Cawley who is the "Acting
Headteacher Designate" of Saxmundham
Free School after the Head who was
appointed turned the post down
If like me you have a child in the final year of Primary School you are probably getting ready for their transfer to secondary school. Parents and children would have confirmed what school they were going to back on 1st March on “national offer day”. By now even appeals will generally have been sorted out.

Schools will also have known how many staff they will need and they will have been in place before 31st May which is the last date teachers can resign to start in September.

All these dates which are part of the flow of the academic year in schools are well known to everyone in education.

However if you live in Beccles and Saxmundaham something quite unusual is happening. The Seckford Foundation are desperately trying to persuade parents who have already accepted places in local schools to give these up and send their children to the new free schools.

Now I am not talking about parents who already applied for the free schools but they appear from a letter obtained by this Blog sent to local parents in Saxmundham to be actively seeking students from anywhere.
Letter to Parents in Saxmundham and Surrounding Areas

I am not at all opposed to parental choice of school. I even appealed to get my eldest son into the school I wanted for him but this kind of aggressive marketing after the normal admission round has closed is to me completely unacceptable behaviour. It is poaching pure and simple. It is not playing by the rules. Not cricket. Whatever you want to call it.

It also smacks of complete desperation. I think the Seckford Foundation are embarassed how few children will be attending these free schools given the millions of pounds of public money being sunk into these projects.

When I sit in meetings of local schools worrying about how we can afford to maintain buildings when we have had a 60% cut in capital budgets - meaning for small primary schools the annual capital budget is a tiny £5000-£6000 (and no I have not made a mistake with zeros, 5k to 6K) it just seems wrong to see so much money wasted that we could be spending on children in our schools.
Saxmundham Free School 8653513290236521958

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