Beccles Free School approved due to “local demand”

THE Department For Education has explained that approval was given to a bid to establish a free school in Beccles because there was 'evidence of local demand'.

The department gave approval for The Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust to open new schools in Beccles and Saxmundham because they met the application criteria, showed evidence of local demand and will provide 'greater choice'.

A spokesman said: 'We are pleased to confirm that we have signed funding agreements for the Beccles and Saxmundham Free Schools.

'This means that both schools have been approved to open in September this year. They will provide greater choice for local parents, and offer a strong secondary education.

'We welcome the involvement of the Seckford Foundation in the Free Schools programme. The Foundation has a long track record of providing excellent education.'

The decision was announced by The Seckford Foundation last Friday to the disappointment of Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Beccles county councillor Mark Bee who both spoke out against it.

The Seckford Foundation, which is based in Woodbridge, started the bid when approached by a group of parents who wanted to start a free school, however their application caused controversy in Beccles and Carlton Colville with a campaign launched against it.

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The school will open to years seven, eight and nine at the former Carlton Colville Primary School in September, before moving to the site of Beccles Middle School in September 2014.

Full details of the uniform, the school day and other information about the school are expected to be released in the coming weeks.

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