Tuesday, 8 February, 2005

David Ruffley has been invited to be the honorary patron of Priory School's bid for Specialist School status.

If successful this would bring additional funding to the school and enable them to expand their facilities and implement plans they have for the school's future, for example:

• Access to the very best ICT equipment in the county

• Opportunities to experience new ways of learning

• A Sound Field System to help pupils with hearing, communication and attention problems

• Easier access for pupils with movement difficulties

• Better facilities for pupils with visual impairment

• Use of an internet cafí© for pupils in Years 10 and 11

• Better links with other schools, community organisations and potential employers.

To apply for specialist status Priory School needs to raise £20,000 by the end of March- if successful the Government will then give them £100,000 in the first instance followed by a further £50,000 for 4 years.

Friends of Priory School have already pledged £3,000 and a further £1,000 has been raised from another source.

David said: 'I am honoured to be invited to be patron of Priory School's bid for specialist status. I am a regular visitor at the school and each year I welcome a group of pupils and teachers to Westminster. I am always impressed by the care and dedication the members of staff give to the pupils and this is reflected in the successes they achieve.

I give my whole hearted support to Priory's bid for specialist status and wish them well. I would encourage local residents and businesses to support the bid which, if successful, will be so beneficial to the school.'

The school is writing to all parents, parents of ex-pupils, local businesses and friends of the school to ask for support. Contributions, no matter how small, should be sent to Priory School, Mount Road, Bury St Edmunds, IP32 7BH. Please make cheques payable to the Friends of Priory School. If you personally know of someone who may also help then please feel free to make contact on the school's behalf.