School proposal divides opinion

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ST BENEDICT’S Catholic School, in Beetons Way, Bury St Edmunds, has been canvassing opinion about proposals to take Year 7 and 8 students from 2013.

The proposal aims to rectify the situation brought about by the staggered change from a three tier to two tier school system across West Suffolk.

Priority for the places would be given to parents from areas such as Haverhill, Newmarket and Sudbury.

St Benedict’s headteacher Hugh O’Neil said: “There are different needs from different areas of West Suffolk and this proposal is an attempt to meet all those needs.

“This is in no way a long-term solution. It looks messy but this is a messy situation.”

The proposal would see 60 places created for students from each year by the building of a four classroom standalone block.

The strongest objections have come from St Louis’ Middle School, who have put forward a counter proposal that would see St Benedict’s take control of Yey Stage 3 education but on the St Louis site in St Andrew’s Street, Bury.

Rose Heap, headmistress of St Louis Middle School, said: “At the moment there might be concerns about the school’s future but Mr O’Neil has said that he would protect St Louis and I would hope that would be at the forefront of his planning should this proposal go ahead.

“Whatever the outcome we will continue to work with St Benedict’s.”