Peter Aldous and Mark Bee to meet Waveney committee about Beccles Free School

PUBLISHED: 11:38 27 July 2012

The children of Beccles Free School enjoying an induction day at Woodbridge School

The children of Beccles Free School enjoying an induction day at Woodbridge School


Leading Conservative politicians will address an extraordinary meeting in Lowestoft next month as councillors review the first free school for Waveney.

Peter Aldous, MP, and Mark Bee, leader of Suffolk County Council, will present evidence to Waveney District Council’s overview and scrutiny committee as they continue to review the controversial Beccles Free School, which is being set up by the Seckford Foundation.

The two will explain to the committee the submissions they made against the proposal to schools minister Lord Hill of Oareford during the school’s consultation.

The free school will welcome students from Year 7 to 9 on the former site of Carlton Colville Primary School from September 6 before moving to Beccles in 2014, after being given approval to open by Lord Hill.

There has been a campaign against the school and although the committee has no direct responsibility for education it can concern itself with matters which affect the overall wellbeing of the area.

At a meeting last month the committee invited Mr Bee, Mr Aldous and a representative of the Department for Education to speak to them, after listening to a presentation from Seckford Foundation director Graham Watson.

Tod Sullivan, chair of the committee said: “I am very grateful to Mr Aldous and Mr Bee for joining us to make their contribution to this important discussion.

“Although we cannot make any decisions which will affect the development of the school, we do have a responsibility as community leaders to examine issues which affect the people we represent.

“Following the consideration of the submissions made by Mr Aldous and Cllr Bee, the committee will then need to determine what further action we wish to take and explore any options open to us to ensure that the very best interests of our communities are served.”

The meeting will be held at the Town Hall, in Lowestoft, on Tuesday, August 7 at 7pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend but will not be able to ask questions.

Earlier this month, staff and students of the new school held an induction day at Woodbridge School.

The day included a zip wire, climbing, abseiling, bridge building and crate climbing followed by team competitions in the school’s sports hall.

This formed part of the school’s six Cs for success programme, which covers co-operation, community, commitment, challenge, confidence and celebration.

Beccles Free School headmaster John Lucas said: “It was great to see students working together, enjoying and achieving success together on a day when the rain held off and the sun even made an appearance.

“The students left very excited and ready to start their new school in September.”

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