Mildenhall College reveals plans for academy status and ambition to move site as part of hub project

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The headteacher of Mildenhall College has told parents ‘We will be masters of our own destiny’ if they back a move to academy status.

A small group of parents attendded a meeting at the college on Tuesday night.

Susan Byles, head of the college revealed ambitious plans to improve the quality of teaching and with it the grades pupils achieve,

“Ultimately it will lead to better results and that can only be a good thing,” she said.

Ms Byles said the sixth form wil get its own site at Sheldrick Way – the college has long term plans to move the whole of its school there as part of a project with Forest Heath District Council and Anglia Community Lesiure to create a ‘public service hub’ at the former Riverside Middle School.

Chairman of the governors Ian Gray said the college ‘probably had a‘chequered past’ but the move to academy status was an opportunity for the future.

He said like the rest of Suffolk, English and maths results were not in line with the national average.

“We believe converting to academy status will give us the approach to achieve our targets.”

The switch, he said would lead to the college getting more funding, while working with ATT (Academy Transformation Trusts) would allow it to make greater savings, as well as setting its own curriculum.

The meeting also heard from Ian Cleland, a former Ofsted inspector who founded ATT and is now its chief executive.

He said it now ran an academy network of 17 academies including three primary schools in Thetford and a school in Methwold.

“What we have is a group of schools in this area, which can support each other,” Mr Cleland said.

“We believe that all children deserve an excellent education and we believe that all schools can be outstanding,”

He also told parents how latest gaming, app and 3D technology would be used to encourage greater learning.

At the same time Ms Byles said it would remain an inclusive school taking all pupils from the local area,

Although being an academy would mean she could take on unqualified teachers, she was adamant that this would not happen.

The consultation runs until the end of this month with a decision in June.

Meanwhile it is hoped that police, health bodies and Suffolk County Council will get involved with the Mildenhall hub project.

Updates on the Mildenhall hub project will be posted on www.mildenhallhub.info