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Matthew Hancock
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Lowestoft and Haverhill School Consultation Ends

Tuesday, 22nd January 2008.

Twelve weeks of public consultation relating to the options for the future of education in Haverhill and Lowestoft came to an end on Friday 18th January. Suffolk County Council will now move towards a set of recommendations which will go to its cabinet on 4th March.

Throughout November and December, 51 sets of public meetings were held at schools in the two areas. Nearly 3500 people attended the meetings to hear more about the options and ask questions, before giving their views. Almost 2000 paper questionnaires have been returned, with a further 420 people responding on line. Over 1000 young people gave their views using specially designed on line questionnaires.

Councillor Patricia O’Brien, Portfolio Holder for children schools and young people’s services said: "The response to the consultation has been encouraging and I would like to thank everyone who has taken part. All responses will now be fully analysed."

She continued: "These views will help to inform the decisions made by the county council’s cabinet in March. Their decisions will be based on the principles agreed in March 2007 and the guidance on decision making from the Secretary of State for Children Schools and Families."

If the county council’s cabinet agrees the recommendations the proposals will be published in statutory notices. These notices give people six weeks in which to write to the county council with their comments or objections. A final decision will then be taken.

Included in the review process is a two year planning period. This will allow the county council to manage any changes effectively, to minimise disruption and to ensure continuity of education and support for all children and young people. This will mean that the first changes will not take place before September 2010.

Haverhill Online News

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