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Unity Schools Partnership has launched a consultation into plans to develop additional specialist education places in Ipswich.

Suffolk County Council has commissioned the trust to deliver a satellite of The Bridge School at the former Maidstone Primary School site from September 2024, subject to the site being developed and made suitable for use.

Once all building work has been undertaken, we would expand the provision and develop the site to provide additional secondary places for children in Key Stage 4. Our plan is to request approval for this to also include a sixth form.

The development of the site will result in approximately seven classrooms and therefore in the region of 36-40 places within the new site would be commissioned. This would therefore free up space in the Bridge main campus to allow for the primary numbers to grow.

Across Suffolk there is a shortfall of specialist places available. This can mean that some pupils have to be educated away from their local communities.

As part of a SEND capital programme, an additional 190 new specialist placements will be available for children and their families across Suffolk. This is on top of existing specialist provision. This will give more children the opportunity to be educated closer to home.

The funding for capital works to The Bridge School is being provided by Suffolk County Council.

These places will be in addition to our current PAN (Planned Admission Number). This means that there will not be a reduction in the number of places available in the usual admissions round. Allocation of specialist places will follow a separate admissions process.

Under the Department for Education’s Making Significant Changes to an Open Academy guidance, multi-academy trusts must consult with their community when proposing to make significant changes to the operation of an open academy.

Unity Schools Partnership and The Bridge School now want to hear the views of its stakeholders on this significant change proposal.

Public consultation questions

1. Do you support plans to open a satellite of The Bridge School to provide addition specialist places in primary and secondary education?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Reasons why…

2. Do you have any additional comments to make?

Please send your comments by email to projects@unitysp.co.uk.

The consultation runs from Monday 27th February 2023 until Monday 27th March 2023. Please refer to this website for any updates on the consultation.