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New home for Thetford Free School

Official opening of Thetford AP Free School

Pictured; Head Teacher Nico Robben, MP Elizabeth Trust, Deputy Head Teacher Chris Tomlinson and Chair of Governors Christine Oakes ANL-140613-171538009

Official opening of Thetford AP Free School Pictured; Head Teacher Nico Robben, MP Elizabeth Trust, Deputy Head Teacher Chris Tomlinson and Chair of Governors Christine Oakes ANL-140613-171538009

A free school in Thetford that has ‘blazed a trail others will want to follow’ has had its new home officially opened by MP Liz Truss.

Thetford Alternative Provision Free School opened in September last year at the Bidwell Guide and Scout Centre but now has a new home on Staniforth Road.

The school aims to provide education for 11 to 16-year-olds who find mainstream schooling difficult to cope with.

At the official opening on Friday, headteacher Nico Dobben said the school had seen a 25 per cent rise in attendance since it opened and improved behaviour among students.

He said: “The pupil referral unit was cancelled and there was nowhere to go for pupils who are lovely young people but don’t fit into mainstream schooling for some reason.

“Before long we had eight people who set themselves up as a steering group to set up this school.

“We have had enormous support from the Thetford community even as far as Norwich.

“We have now been open for nearly a year and it has bee a privilege to work with the team of staff.”

MP Liz Truss unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of the new school building.

She said: “It is great to be here and see the vision that Nico had these few years ago come into fruition.

“It is absolutely the right aim that all our children get all the support they need – there can be no child left behind.

“When you hear the results in attendance and behaviour and that these young people have gone into apprenticeships and are turning their lives around we are very grateful to you.

“You have blazed a trail that others will want to follow. They can look at Thetford and see what can be achieved.”

 

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