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

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,

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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.

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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

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