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Solution drawn up for King Edward VI School students after criticisms of Abbeygate Sixth Form College move

A solution has been drawn up for students who were due to transfer to a new sixth form college in Bury St Edmunds in response to criticisms of the move.

Following delays in construction of Abbeygate Sixth Form, arrangements were made to teach King Edward VI School students at West Suffolk College's university building from September 2019.

Abbeygate Sixth Form College (5998827)
Abbeygate Sixth Form College (5998827)

However, the move faced criticism from parents and Year 12 students about the impact on their education amid fears they would not be taught by the same teachers when they transferred to Abbeygate.

In a letter to parents today, new plans were outlined which will see the current Year 12 students at King Edward VI remain at the school in Grove Road in Year 13 to complete their A-levels.

The West Suffolk College site would only be used to accommodate Year 12 students, who will then transfer with their teachers to the new building, off Beeton's Way, in September 2020.

One unnamed parent welcomed the change.

They said: "I'm pleased that the chair of governors and Suffolk Academies have listened to the students and parents.

"At the end of the day as a parent I want the best for my son and wanted him to complete his studies at King Edwards and felt the previous decision caused a lot of stress and unnecessary upheaval at an important time in his education."

The letter from Harriet Elliss, chair of governors at King Edward VI School, and Elton D'Souza, chair of governors at Suffolk Academies Trust, said as work on the initial proposal progressed, they had 'listened to the views of parents and students and came to the understanding that this arrangement has unsettled current sixth form students at a time when they need to focus on their A-level studies'.

They said the new plan 'has the advantage of providing continuity to both sets of students, those starting in Year 12 and those completing their A-levels in Year 13'.

They added: "Abbeygate SFC and King Edward VI are working together to ensure staffing arrangements are made to reflect the need and circumstances across both institutions.

"We have listened very carefully to the views of parents and students and hope you will welcome and be reassured by these arrangements."

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