Our County

The County of Suffolk

Suffolk is a large, predominantly rural county with a population of around 600, 000. There are three major centres of population in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds and numerous attractive small towns and villages. Transport links have improved greatly in recent years and much light industry has developed in the county to complement the mainly agricultural character of the area.


Our Catchment Area serves Kesgrave town, Martlesham, Martlesham Heath and the catchment areas of our Feeder Primary Schools (Beacon Hill, Birchwood, Bucklesham, Cedarwood, Gorseland, Heath, Little Bealings, Nacton and Waldringfield) and parts of Rushmere St Andrew. If you live in Rushmere St Andrew, it is best to contact the school with an address to ask if your street is in the catchment area of Kesgrave High School. Telephone the school on (01473) 624855.

The Authority Education is the largest service provided by the county council, both in terms of annual expenditure and numbers of employees. The service has headquarters in Ipswich and three area offices in Bury, Lowestoft and Ipswich. The area offices are concerned with the day-to-day running of the education service and are the first point of reference for information and advice for schools, parents and the public.

What do the Education Service do?

The education service is responsible for the number and size of schools, their age-range, admissions policy and funding. It works closely with school governing bodies and headteachers. It also has a role to play in monitoring the quality of education provided. All council schools have fully delegated budgets. This means they can decide how to spend the money allocated to them, but at the same time they have back up and support from Suffolk County Council, as the Local Education Authority.

There are two main patterns of provision in the county. The western area is organised on a three tier system of first (5-9), middle (9-13) and upper (13-18) schools. A large part of the northern area is organised similarly. The remainder of the northern and southern areas are organised on a two tier system of primary (5-11) and high (11-16 or 11-18) schools. All schools are comprehensives and co-educational.

Southern Area

The area is organized on a two-tier system of primary (5 - 11) and high (11 - 16 or 11 - 18) schools. There are some (5 - 7) infant schools and (7 - 11) junior schools in Ipswich. Suffolk Education Committee has adopted a curriculum policy, which is known as "The Suffolk Curriculum". The Suffolk Curriculum papers adopt an integrated approach in which there is greater emphasis on methods of learning and the present and future needs of children, rather than on traditional subject divisions. The Suffolk Curriculum supports the acquisition of skills, attitudes and values needed to provide a foundation for future responsibilities and learning.