Education providers make their pitch to be the one to open new secondary school in Moreton Hall

Moreton Hall Community Centre
Moreton Hall Community Centre

Three education providers who are vying to set up a new secondary school on the Moreton Hall estate made their pitches to parents at a packed meeting this week.

The Active Learning Trust, Lilac Sky Educational Trust and the National Education Trust are each looking to run the 11-16 academy, which would open in 2016.

The trio gave presentations at Moreton Hall Community Centre, which formed part of the consultation on plans to move to two tier education for the majority of schools in Bury St Edmunds.

Clive Bush, chief executive of the Active Learning Trust (ALT), which already sponsors schools in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire including Burrowmoor Primary, in March, said the new school would be ‘focused on standards in all forms where everyone can thrive’ and ‘an outward looking organisation’ working with the community with ‘dynamic and outstanding leadership’.

Trevor Averre-Beeson, co-founder of Lilac Sky, which has worked with more than 70 schools and run six under contract, said a great school ‘listens to and works with the community, thinks about how parents are going to drop their kids off in the morning and has outstanding results’.

Takako Yeung, director of the National Education Trust (NET), which has worked with King Edward VI School and the Bury Schools Partnership, said they expect pupils to achieve level five at the end of Year 7 in English and maths and 85 to 90 per cent of pupils would be able to achieve eight good GCSEs.

Sue Herriott, chairman of the Bury Schools Partnership, said they were impressed with NET’s ‘non negotiable outlook in terms of maths and literacy’. She added: “We’re really pleased to support NET and their new proposal.”

After the meeting, parent Emily Sadler, who preferred ALT, said: “They’ve all talked the talk but it’s whether they can put it into practice.”

Parent Nick Upton said: “NET seem the most well formed proposition. They’ve done their homework, formed partnerships and understand the local landscape.”

If two tier goes ahead, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet will be asked to identify preferred proposers in February and would submit recommendations to the Department for Education for final approval.