The Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust has received a second formal reprimand from advertising watchdog ASA for a third misleading ad. The organisation is building up a track record for less-than-candid marketing.
Seckford’s ad for a proposed Ixworth Free School claimed that restructuring would leave children with no choice on leaving primary school. The Suffolk Coalition Opposing Free Schools (SCOFS) argued that this was misleading and could not be substantiated. The ASA agreed in a ruling published on Wed 30 Jan.
Parents in the Thurston catchment already send children to schools in Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and elsewhere, and parents there send children to Thurston. School reorganisation won’t stop this. There is choice.
In fact, Ixworth Free School would reduce choice for children in the Thurston area. Children attending the Ixworth Free School would be limited by the restrictive curriculum proposed by Seckford, which does not meet the needs of all children and contains few choices. Children attending Thurston may have their choices reduced if smaller year sizes limit the range of courses that can be offered.
Seckford has repeatedly bent the truth in order to sell its struggling free school in Beccles. It’s sad to see them repeat the same behaviour in Ixworth. Parents seeking real choice should look elsewhere.
This week’s ASA ruling
Previous ASA rulings against Seckford