Church to move forward with bid for village Free School

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The Church of England is to press ahead with its rival bid for a Free School on the site of a village middle school.

The Bishop’s Council of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese has confirmed that it will submit an application to the Department for Education for the 11-16 school in Ixworth.

It would be set up on the site of the village’s middle school, which is due to close as part of the county’s move to two tier education.

The middle school is also the site of a proposed Free School by a parent group working with the Seckford Foundation.

The Church aims to provide education with a ‘distinctly Christian ethos’ and is working with the Thurston Partnership of schools with a view to opening in September 2014.

Its curriculum would be developed by Mike Crawshaw, former head of DebenhamHigh School.

A public meeting was held on Wednesday night at Blackbourne Middle School, in Stanton.

Further meetings are due to be held at Woolpit Primary on Monday (December 3) and Ixworth Village Hall on Tuesday (December 4) at 7pm.

Rachel Gooch, Thurston Partnership re-organisation co-ordinator and chairman of governors at Woolpit Primary, said the partnership would provide some governors for the Church Free School.

It is expected their bid will be submitted before Christmas.

For further information about the Church Free School visit

Information about the Seckford Foundation backed Free School can be found at