Free Schools

Suffolk Free Schools Map


+xx is number of surplus places in just the entry yeargroup in 2011/12
-xx is number of oversubscribed places in entry yeargroup in 2011/12
Green - secondaries with unfilled places 2011/12
Red - oversubscribed 2011/12
Blue- open or approved free school
Yellow - proposed free school (locations unconfirmed)
Map produced by @schoolduggery please tweet any corrections

DfE Free Schools
New Schools Network
Local Schools Network
Anti-Academies Alliance
Academies Act 2010 - my post on Legal Challenges
Suffolk County Council Free Schools and Academies Page - Full Policy
Toby Young's Book How to Set Up a Free School - My Review
My General Free School Blogposts

Seckford Foundation
Behind the Beccles, Saxmundham, Stoke by Nayland and Ixworth bids as "Seckford Foundation Free Schools trust". Advert for Principal and two Heads placed Feb 2012
Seckford Foundation
Seckford Foundation Free Schools
Adverts for Principal and Beccles and Saxmundham Headteachers
Woodbridge School
My Seckford Foundation Blogposts
Feb 2012 Free Schools FOI Blogposts - Full Ixworth - Full Becles, Sax, Stoke by Nayland Pt 1 - Part 2

Free Schools - Open

Clare (Stour Valley Community School)
Opened in Sep 2011 on Clare Middle School Site

Free Schools - Confirmed to Open

Brandon (IES Breckland)
Confirmed to Open in Sep 2012 to be run by IES following competitive contract in Jan 2012
To open on site of former Breckland Middle School. Headteacher appointed 

Free Schools - Approved to 2nd Stage

Saxmundham (Seckford)
Approved to 2nd Stage in Nov 2011, consultation ended Feb 2012 awaiting final DfE decision. Proposed site Saxmundham Middle School
Saxmundham Free School Website
My Saxmundham Free School Blogposts
Deleted Unofficial Facebook Group
Feb 2012 Free Schools FOI Blogposts Full Response Part1  -- Part 2

Beccles (Seckford)
Approved to 2nd Stage in Nov 2011, consultation ended Feb 2012 awaiting final DfE decision. Proposes to open in Carlton Colville and move to Beccles Middle School Site in 2014

Free Schools - Made Bids

Stoke By Nayland (Seckford)
Seckford Submitted application in Feb 2012 round for a 2013 opening
Proposed Site Stoke by Nayland Middle School
Stoke by Nayland Free School Website
My Stoke by Nayland Free School Blogposts
COMPASS (Campaign against) - March 2012 Submission to DfE
COMPASS Facebook
Stoke by Nayland High School 11-16 Facebook Group (Pro)
Feb 2012 Free Schools FOI Blogposts Full Response Part1  -- Part 2


The FOI request I submitted to Suffollk CC mentioned a possible free school on the site of Deben High School in Felixstowe after the creation of the single site for Felixstowe Academy. The Felixstowe Community School website confirms they in fact submitted a bid for Sept 2013 opening.

Free Schools - Announced

Ixworth (Seckford)
Seckford intention to apply later in 2012 for 2014 opening. Original local parent group bid due to submit Feb 2012 for 2013 opening abandoned in Feb 2012 and Seckford taken bid over, previously known as "Ixworth and Stanton Free School". Proposed for Ixworth Middle School Site
Ixworth Free School Website (site not launched yet)
Parent Letter re Seckford Bid Feb 2012
My Ixworth Free School Blogposts
Unofficial Ixworth Free School Page (critical)
Unofficial Free School Facebook Group (open discussion)
School Re-organisation Ixworth Facebook Group
Ixworth Free School Group (pro. closed)
Matthew Hancock MP 
Thurston Partnership
Nov 2011 FOI Response from Suffolk CC

Fullfledge Ecology School nr Woodbridge
States that it intends to apply unsure of status, no confirmed site
Fullfledge Ecology School Website
My Blog Posts on Fullfledge Ecology School
Article on UK Anthroposophy (critical)

Maharishi Free School, Woodbridge Area
States intention to apply to open in 2013, no confirmed site
Maharishi Free School Website

Free Special Schools

Gemstones (Woodbridge/Ipswich)
Submitted an unsuccessful bid for a free special school in Ipswich in 2011. The failure is put down at least in part to the reluctance of SCC to support the proposal. Later attempted to partner with Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill but they decided to submit their own bid.

Samuel Ward Free Special School, Haverhill
Proposed to open in 2013 on the Samuel Ward site for children from 7 to 18. Planned size is 70

Free Schools - Rumours

This was rumoured as a possible Seckford site

As part of the Thurston Partnership plan Beyton is to become a second campus of Thurston Community College but apparently a teacher from St Benedicts has put plans to Beyton's Governing Body for a non-denominational Christian free school at this site. If this advances this could end up in a similar situation to Beccles where Seckford and Sir John Leman both wanted to use the Middle School site.

New Schools Network have a list of proposed free schools in Suffolk:

Proposal for a 4-18 all through school by Laura Bunting

Proposal for a primary school called "Lighthouse Free School" by Chris Thomas

CO10 Pat Rockcall
NR32 Neil Loveday

Any more links, corrections or if you know of new free school plans - please Contact Me or Tweet @onlygeek


Wed 29 Feb - Added Beyton to Rumours (Thanks @Placefarm)
Thu 1 Mar - Added link to My Stour Valley Community School and General Free School Blogposts
Fri 2 Mar - Added several links to the "general" area to Suffolk CC's policy and Toby Young's book
Sat 10 Mar - Added maps for each school area and several links to the Beccles Free School section
Tue 20 Mar - Fixed links top Suffolk CC Free School pages, added Compass report to SbN Free School
Fri 23 Mar - Added new section "Free Special Schools" and two new proposed free school rumours
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