New schools could open across Suffolk

Carlton Colville primary school which could become a special school.

Carlton Colville primary school which could become a special school. - Credit: Richard Wood

Proposals to build a new primary school in Lowestoft, and in five other locations across Suffolk, are set to be discussed by councillors.

Carlton Colville Primary School which could become a special school.

Carlton Colville Primary School which could become a special school. - Credit: Richard Wood

Suffolk County Council's cabinet will hear that as well as providing places to cater for 1,500 pupils, there is also a need for two new special schools for youngsters with specific learning needs.

The county is also planning to convert the former Carlton Colville Primary School, which was a temporary base for the Beccles Free School, into a special school.

A report for the cabinet states: 'Although we are forecasting the need to open the new schools in September 2018 or 2019, the pace of housing development is not easily determined.

'Because of this we may delay opening or bring forward some schools where developments are moving faster or slower than expected.

'We allow three years for a new school to be established, particularly where we need to acquire land, so early planning and feasibility is prudent.'

Although the county is planning to identify land and to allow the new schools to be built, changes to the way schools are run means it would not be able to operate them itself and would need to look for sponsors to open them as academies or free schools.

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The paper is to be debated at next Tuesday's meeting of the cabinet – but it would be a major surprise if that turned down the proposals.

The reports notes there is also a need for two new primary schools in Ipswich plus an additional one in each of the Sudbury, Stowmarket, Lakenheath, and Red Lodge districts.

Have you got a schools story for the EDP? Email education correspondent Martin George at martin.george@archant.co.uk