New primary school to open in Stowmarket named after female astronomer

Anna Hennell James - CEO of the Orwell Multi Academy Trust, Keith Welham and Robert McQueen, architect  

Anna Hennell James - CEO of the Orwell Multi Academy Trust, local County Councillor Keith Welham and Robert McQueen, architect from Concertus look at the plans for the school - Credit: Christine Bayliss

A consultation is set to be launched ahead of the opening of a new school in Suffolk next year. 

Grace Cook Primary School will be opening to primary school pupils in Stowmarket next September. 

Work is continuing on the school's new buildings on the Fuller Way site.

It will be a one-form entry primary school with 30 places in each year group.

There will also be a nursery that can take 60 children.

In 2022 places will be available for nursery children and pupils in the reception, Year 1 and 2 classes.

The school will be named after Stowmarket’s pioneering female astronomer Grace Cook who was best known for her work looking at meteors in the early 20th century.

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The name was chosen to provide a link to the history and community of Stowmarket, as well as to provide an inspirational role model for the pupils. 

Grace Cook School will be the latest to join the Orwell Multi-Academy Trust (Orwell MAT) which runs a number of existing primary school across Suffolk, predominantly in Ipswich. 

Before a school can open, the trust must carry out a consultation with the local community and show it has listened to the views of residents, local schools, businesses, and civic leaders in finalising its plans to open the school.

Orwell Multi-Academy Trust is launching its consultation on Grace Cook Primary School on Monday, September 13.

A public meeting is being held at Stowmarket Rugby Club at 6pm on Wednesday, September 22.

It will also be live streamed through the school’s Facebook page, with a chance to have questions answered online.

Once the consultation has been completed the school will report the outcome to the Secretary of State for Education. This is required by the legislation before the Secretary of State enters into a funding agreement for the new school with the Trust.

Anna Hennell James the Trust’s chief executive said “Our schools are at the heart of the communities they serve and we are determined that Grace Cook Primary School will be no different. We encourage local people to let us know your views on the proposed new school.”



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