Seckford move to poach Thurston pupils as Ixworth numbers revealed to be low
The Seckford Foundation have already opened two schools with disappointingly low numbers at Beccles and Saxmundham. Beccls opened with less than a hundred children in three year groups and at one point famously only had 37 confirmed pupils. Numbers at Saxmundham were somewhat higher but still considerably under capacity.
With Ixworth Free School due to open in September this Blog can reveal that its numbers also look really low and it appears likely that the school will open with 120 children, an average of 40 for each of the three year groups it opens with. If the school was full it would have 360 children at opening, 120 in each year group.
This looks like an exact repeat of what happened at Beccles and Saxmundham. Perhaps this is what has prompted the Seckford Foundation to take the step of writing to parents who have already confirmed a place for their children at Thurston Community College and “inviting” them to consider switching to Ixworth. To “help” they have even enclosed the Suffolk County Council form parents would need to complete - even though overwhelmingly this process is done online now.
The letter can be seen below and appears to be poaching plain and simple:
Whilst competition between schools is well established large numbers of children switching schools at this stage is destabilising and stops schools planning their numbers and staffing properly for September.
Once again Seckford have failed to convince all but a small group of parents as to the value of their educational proposition. Parents have voted with their feet and chosen Thurston by and large or schools in Bury for year 9 children. Now we are witnessing a desperate attempt at poaching - ironically paid for at public expense as part of the opening “marketing costs.