Information day held on Beccles Free School in Carlton Colville

AN information drop-in session was held in Carlton Colville yesterday morning over controversial plans to set up a free school on the site of the Carlton Colville Primary School.

The independent information was held in Carlton Colville News and Cards on Famona Road between 8.30am and 10.30am.

People attending the sessions were handed leaflets about the plans to set up a free school in Carlton Colville for two years from September initially for Year 7, 8 and 9 students.

As previously reported in the Journal the Seckford Foundation wants to set up the school in Carlton Colville for two years and then move in to the site of Beccles Middle School in September 2014.

At yesterday's information session people were told the school's school curriculum would reflect the English Baccalaureate, which demands C+GCSE grade C in various subjects, special transport arrangements would be put in place for the temporary school and school uniforms would be affordable with the trust aiming to provide some items for free.

Yesterday's event was part of an independent consultation run by Cambridge Education.

An information sheet said: 'The proposed free school would support all learners, including those with disabilities, the gifted and talented, and learners from all social and cultural backgrounds.'

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There are fears that the Carlton Colville plans will create traffic and noise problems and take money away from mainstream education.

Jim Mitchell, owner of Carlton Colville News and Cards and former district and county councillor, was sceptical of the benefits free schools can bring.

He said: 'They have yet to be proved. They are a shot in the dark and education should not be a shot in the dark.'

Free schools are a government initiative which allow groups to create new schools directly funded by the government and out of local authority control.

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