May 19 2013 Latest news:
By Elliot Furniss
Monday, July 9, 2012
ONE of Suffolk’s top Catholic schools is set to increase its intake of children, falling in line with the county-wide School Organisation Review (SOR).
St Benedict’s Catholic School in Bury St Edmunds currently has about 600 pupils aged 13 to 18 in years nine to 13 but the change would see additional pupils form new year seven and eight year groups from 2013.
The proposals received considerable backing during a six-week consultation process which ended on June 8.
St Benedict’s is rated as “outstanding” by Ofsted and achieves the highest GCSE results in Suffolk. The capital cost of providing the four new classrooms is £1million, which will be met from the Locally Controlled Voluntary Aided Programme, Devolved Funding Capital and a contribution from the SOR capital budget.
In a report to Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet, which meets tomorrow to discuss the proposal, officers explain that the Governors believe making the change could further improve achievement at the school.
In a message to parents on the school website, headteacher Hugh O’Neill said the intention was to offer a two-tier route directly to Catholic secondary school for children in two-tier primary schools.
He said: “The children currently in year five at St Louis and St Felix primary schools, to be followed by children at St Joseph’s primary the following year, are our principal concern, but also Catholic children in other two-tier primary schools in the outlying areas.
“The governors made the decision to proceed after considering the very large number of responses they received, together with the views collected at the four consultation meetings held in March.”
If the council approves the plan, building work can begin and the detailed planning, already well advanced, will continue so that buildings and teachers are ready for the first year seven students in September 2013.