A new educational era began in Brandon today with the opening of the town’s first free school.

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After weeks of work to transform the former Breckland Middle School, IES Breckland opened its doors to its first pupils.

The free school is the first in the UK for Swedish company Internationella Engelska Skolan (IES) after Sabres (Save Breckland School), community-run educational trust, was awarded a contract by the government to deliver secondary education in Brandon.

Volunteers, staff and trust members worked round the clock over the weekend to get the former middle school ready for its first year 7, 8 and 9s by installing new furniture and giving the building in Crown Street a new lick of paint.

The construction of a new learning resource centre and ICT suite on the school grounds is set to be ready by September 2013.

Sherry Zand, IES Breckland principal, said it had been “emotional” leading the first assembly at IES Breckland.

The more than 200 pupils all have smart new uniforms with ties and blazers.

The free school is set to reach full capacity in 2014 with around 500 students.

Gordon Warnes, chairman of the Sabres educational trust, said the opening of the secondary school was the culmination of four years hard work to ensure the school site was not lost forever as a result of an educational shake-up by Suffolk County Council.

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