Free school for Carlton Colville and Beccles sees pupil numbers rise by 48pc

16:59 13 July 2012

Protestors at a Beccles Free School meeting. PICTURE: Mick Howes.

Protestors at a Beccles Free School meeting. PICTURE: Mick Howes.


A free school in Waveney that is due to open its doors in September should have at least 55 pupils going through its doors.

The organisation behind the Beccles Free School said yesterday that pupil numbers have increase by 48pc - three weeks after it was revealed that only 37 out of 162 place were filled.

In September the free school is due to open in Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, for two years before it relocated to the site of the Beccles Middle School in 2014.

In its first year on the site of the former Carlton Colville Primary School, it will have places for year seven, eight and nine pupils before it starts expanding.

When the low uptake of 37 pupils was revealed last month, it led to anti-free school campaigners in Waveney saying the figure showed there was no need for a free school in the area,

There have been concerns the Beccles Free School will adversely impact on the Beccles and Lowestoft education system by taking funds away from schools under local education authority control.

The Seckford Foundation says the increase in pupil uptake shows parents want to send their children to the free school as it provides a greater opportunity for them educationally.

Rob Cawley, principal of The Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust, said: “The foundation remains confident that numbers will continue to rise for places at the Beccles Free School in the coming weeks as more and more people take up the freedom of choice in their child’s future education.

“With a little under two months left, we are well on track for opening in September


  • Dave G, please don't tar other schools in the area with the extremely limited brush of your own experience. You could have applied to other schools in our area, but I'm assuming you didn't. Many other schools in the area provide a good, rounded education. As for this specific report, perhaps the reporter could answer the question posed elsewhere - have you corroborated Seckford's claims on numbers? In any case, 48% of very few is even less!

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    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • This school must succeed or we will condemn our children to the poor education offered by most of the other schools in the area. My biggest regret in life is that i could not afford to take my children out of Kirkley and send them to a proper school where education for all was at the forefront, rather than the main agenda being to keep the 20 or so thugs in school to protect the school exclusion figures

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    Sunday, July 15, 2012

  • The sole source for this figure is the body which is trying to persuade people it's a going concern, yes? Did anyone at Archant seek to confirm this figure from, say, Suffolk County Council - the body through which all school admissions have to go? If you didn't (which the article suggests) then this is basically a free piece of advertising for Seckford - so well done on maintaining your journalistic integrity. 55 (if true - and given Seckford's previously misleading figures I doubt it) is, let's see, 19 in their first GCSE cohort. Lots of choice there then.

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    Blue Square Thing

    Friday, July 13, 2012

  • DaveG is perhaps mistaken in thinking this 'Free' School is for the children of Lowestoft. It's not. It's for Beccles and it's well-off surroundings. School buses will only be provided for those within 3 miles of Beccles when it moves to its permanent home there. It's being set up in direct competition to the Sir John Leman High School, which was rated 'very good' by OFSTED. A huge amount of money will now be wasted on temporary conversions at the old Carlton Colville Primary site for a handful of 'free' school children. This is the same tax-payer's money which could be used to improve access at the new Carlton Colville Primary site in Gisleham (a school ranked as 'outstanding' twice by OFSTED, take note DaveG).

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    Monday, July 16, 2012

  • Well said DaveG. Since the definitive approval for the school was given, the people of Beccles have been seriously considering sending their youngsters there in Sept ( As they should ) Their meets and greets in the Waveney Hotel were crammed full of enthusiastic parents and their children. I predict the school will be almost full come September. They are building good momentum.

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    Friday, July 13, 2012

  • Still doesn't change the fact that they are being funded from our taxes for 160 places - no other school could get away with such massive over-payment...but then Seckford are struggling financially so it's an easy way of making money!

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    Friday, July 13, 2012

  • I'm extremely suspicious of these uncorroborated figures. If there are now 55 applicants, Seckford would surely have rounded 48.65% up to 49%? This planted "story" is an attempt to bury the real news of the day. Seckford's bid to open a third free school at Stoke by Nayland was rejected today by the Department for Education. This third school was a key part of the Seckford financial plans and brings the whole edifice ever closer to collapse.

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    Friday, July 13, 2012

  • This is great news for the children of South Lowestoft, let down for many years by poor teaching in poor schools (Pakefield Primary ands Middle school excepted) I really hope this school is a roaring success

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    Friday, July 13, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site


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