Education leader at helm of new school on Moreton Hall says the community will play vital role in its creation

Visualisation of new secondary school at Moreton Hall - Image produced by Concertus Design and Property Consultants

Visualisation of new secondary school at Moreton Hall - Image produced by Concertus Design and Property Consultants

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The man in charge of setting up the new secondary school on Moreton Hall in Bury St Edmunds says the community will play a key role in its creation.

Yesterday, St Edmundsbury Borough Council cabinet voted to accept the Samuel Ward Academy Trust as custodians of the school which is planned to open in September 2016.

Howard Lay

Howard Lay

Howard Lay, Chief Executive of the trust, said setting up a new school is a huge challenge but one he relishes.

“I am very pleased with the decision because I think we will do a really good job working with the community and parents in Bury to set up a outstanding school.

“We have experience in opening new schools, we opened one 18 months ago,

“But the time scale involved, employment of new staff and the development of a new curriculum are all significant challenges.”

The trust currently oversees the Samuel Ward Academy, Coupals Primary School, Churchill Special Free School and Westfield Primary Academy in Haverhill, Thomas Gainsborough School in Sudbury, Newmarket Academy, and Glemsford Primary Academy.

Mr Lay said there were three main aims of the trust.

“The first is to create successful learners which is fundamentally important,” he said, “We want our students to achieve the highest exam results they can.”

“We don’t think that is enough though.

“Our second aim is to produce confident pupils - all students need to leave school with a feeling of confidence about themselves.

“The third is to create responsible citizens, we don’t want students just passing exams and looking after themselves but to look after each other and look after the community.

“We strongly believe in traditional values and think it is of importance that young people develop key values as they grow up.”

Mr Lay said the community on Moreton Hall would be crucial part of shaping the school.

“We don’t run schools like a franchise, we don’t expect our schools to be exactly the same - we expect them to reflect the communities they are in.

“The Samuel Ward Academy is a very different school to Thomas Gainsborough which in turn is very different to Churchill.

“We expect the new school to be different too and reflect the traditional, successful community built on strong values that Moreton Hall is.

“We also want to talk to the people in the Moreton Hall area and really understand what they would want from the school.

“We expect a dialogue to happen as soon as we can in September so we can build this school together.

“We don’t see our job to impose a school on the area, we think schools should be the heart of the community.”