In the current economic crisis, the proposed free school at Ixworth seems like a wasteful way to spend taxpayers’ money. Ixworth is served by a school at Thurston that is rated Outstanding by Ofsted. Thurston Community College already offers all the subjects that the new school intends to teach as part of its purely ‘academic’ curriculum. Pupils there can choose to study these subject and achieve excellent results. But not all pupils can or should go to university. Schools also need to offer choices to those students who want a different future. I know lots of young people from Ixworth who have done well at Thurston and gone on to West Suffolk College and become the plumbers, childcare workers, hairdressers etc that we also need. But the new school won’t be interested in teaching any of those pupils and says it won’t teach any of the courses that might give them a chance to succeed.
The idea that this proposed school will increase choice is a myth. It will divide our children just like the 11-plus and it will cost millions. I would expect my Conservative councillors to oppose this waste.