Ixworth Free School: The battle for book bags

BookbagThroughout the free school controversy in Suffolk there has been something of a battle over whether schools should send out leaflets on behalf of the free school groups or opponents.

In Stoke by Nayland an agreement was eventually made to allow both Seckford and the group that opposed the free school called Compass to distribute leaflets to parents.

In Thurston the position was more varied. Ixworth Middle sent out Seckford leaflets. Blackborne Middle and Beyton Middle leaflets from both Seckford and Suffolk Coalition Opposing Free Schools (SCOFS). The Primary Schools and Thurston Community College took the position not to send either leaflet out.

This led to the intervention of Matthew Hancock MP who put pressure of the County Council and local schools to send the Seckford leaflets out. The County Council advised they were powerless to force them to and the schools stuck to their guns and did not send any leaflets out.

But when the possible bid from the Diocese was announced last week the primary schools (who are mostly church schools) did send out the leaflet from the Diocesan Director of Education. This prompted immediate anger from members of the Ixworth Parent Group who backed the Seckford bid.

Here are a few of several comments they left on my Blog:
This seems unfair, I know the parent group (Seckford), have tried to engage in meetings with the primary feeder schools, asked them to distribute information and been turned away, and generally been given no access to distribute information at all, hence them standing on the street giving information out and attempting to blanket leaflet areas. This all seems really bizarre since now they are giving info out about the diocese bid, because Thurston has given it the nod to say they can!! It's all one sided, how can you make an informed decision when you do not have all the information, the Primary schools should be ashamed of themselves and I personally am quite upset that they think parents are not going to shout about this. Thurston, scarily appears to have a huge amount of dominance...
Why also are the primary schools sent the letter but Beyton Middle School parents havent been sent it nor i assume other middle schools. It is, after all, the middle school children caught up in this. 
However today it became clear that Ixworth Middle School have refused to send out the letter from the Diocese. Apparently their Governing Body (which contains several Parent Group members) voted not to send it.

Blackbourne Middle on the other hand not only sent out the letter but also a strong letter of support which is perhaps unsurprising as they are a church school.

It has also been reported that Ixworth Middle School have refused to send out an invitation to an open day for parents at Thurtston Community College which seems even more bizarre.

Given the strong views expressed here over the weekend that the primary schools were wrong not to send out Seckford leaflets I hope that the parent group members will now be asking Ixworth Middle School to send the Diocesan leaflet out. Perhaps Matthew Hancock will too.

After all how can you make an informed decision when you do not have all the information?
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