Backing call for free school

West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock
West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock
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WEST Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock urged parents to support the creation of a free school in Ixworth.

Speaking at a public meeting held immediately after one on changing to two-tier schooling (see above) he said: “The thing I’ve been told is ‘we want local schooling and schools that serve the community they’re in’. I think closing schools in Ixworth and Stanton with no post-11 teaching in the area would be a mistake.

“You’ve got a fantastic school building here, let’s use it to provide local, high quality education.”

He said Education secretary Michael Gove had told him that getting a free school required a parent-led group, which has already been formed, and a show of parental support for the project. A free school would be run by a governing body with funding direct from government and would take 11- to 16- or 18-year olds.

Spokesman for the parent group Stephen Larder said the six-week old group had so far contacted parents of 154 children and found 89 per cent supported a free school. Feedback showed 44 per cent were very likely to send their children to one and 31 per cent would definitely do so.

Ixworth’s current head teacher Glenice Francis said it would aim for a flexible curriculum to meet children’s needs. She added: “Good schools are run to adapt in this way.”

The parent group can be contacted at and parents are asked to complete an online survey at