Ipswich, Suffolk England (PressExposure) February 14, 2011 -- A LEADING education specialist and former headteacher, from Suffolk, has officially proposed a new Free School for the Ipswich area.
Eithne Leming, who has more than 30 years experience working within mainstream education and special schools, has submitted an application to the Department of Education and is now set to stage a public meeting for those interested in the initiative.
On Thursday 24th February an open public meeting will take place at the Co-op Education Centre, 11 Fore Street, Ipswich. The meeting will commence at 7pm and interested parents, teaching professionals, and members of the press are welcome to attend.
Unique to the proposal is that the school will have a particular emphasis on meeting the needs of those youngsters with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, and those with dyslexia.
The public meeting will provide an opportunity to hear from Eithne Leming about the planned structure of the school including curriculum and teaching methods, and to ask questions about its perceived targets and timeline.
Mrs Leming has already established online surveys to allow for both parent and teaching groups to share their views about the proposed free school. A project group comprising of accomplished education professionals has been developed to progress the initiative in the coming months, and liaison has been under way with the New Schools Network.
She said: It has been identified at significant level, several times over, that in this particular county there is a gap in the provision for children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.
I am an experienced teacher and headteacher in this particular field and have previously set up and run highly successful pupil referral units, as well as having helped a number of challenged schools and establishments to enhance their educational delivery.
I am certainly not alone in the belief that a free school of this nature could significantly change the lives of so many young people growing up in this area.
Mrs Leming, who has already been seeking potential locations for the school, added: I want to stage the public meeting to hear the many and varied views from people in the area about such an initiative.
It is really important to me and to those working with me on the project that we create exactly the right model, with the maximum benefit to all parents and pupils.
In addition to that, we want to ensure that the school is something that the wider community regard as an enormous asset, whether that is through additional out-of-term activities we are able to stage at the venue, or through the potential for our services to be purchased by mainstream schools and nurseries.
The overall objective is that we foster a great sense of social inclusion for our pupils and that they feel well integrated within the community around the school.
The current online surveys which have been established by the free school team can be accessed at: