Political battle at Suffolk County Council will effect where children go to school in Bury St Edmunds

Howard Middle School, Beard Road, Bury St Edmunds.
Howard Middle School, Beard Road, Bury St Edmunds.

A political battle at Suffolk County Council will effect where children from a Bury St Edmunds estate can go to school, a meeting has heard.

County council plans due to go out to consultation in October could end a long association between the Howard estate and County Upper School, forcing pupils to travel further to King Edward VI School.

The complex situation has been created by the council’s switch from three to two tier education, coming in in 2016 .

Howard Middle School wants to join a Bury Academy Trust, alongside Westley Middle, Horringer Court Middle, and Barrow Primary School.

They will feed in to County Upper School which will only take pupils from 13, effectively excluding any pupils from the two tier system.

Howard Primary however has opted to become part of a two tier Bury Schools Partnership with King Edward VI.

Now the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants (HEART) on Monday, heard how senior Tories at the council favour turning Howard Middle School into a super primary school.

It would cater for 600 pupils both for the existing Howard Primary and children from the 900 houses that are to be built on the edge of Bury towards the Fornhams from next year.

But Cllr Nettleton said residents want an academy.

“Pupils will have to go to KEGs and parents wont be happy about that,” he said.

“There are educational issues as well as financial issues involved. I simply think people deserve a choice.”

HEART chairman Ernie Broom backs the academy move.

“I am really concerned about what is going to happen to the youngsters,” he said.

Colin Campbell, from Savills on behalf of Countryside Properties who are behind the 900 home development was also at the meeting.

He listened to a wish list of improvements for the Howard estate from developer funding, including much desired doctors surgery.