Academy to move to new single site

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THETFORD Academy will be based at a single site from September 2013, the school has announced.

The school was allocated £18.26 million by the Department for Education in January – despite their initial request for £35-£39million.

The shortfall in funding has meant that the option of building a third site in Bridge Street has been shelved.

But Melvyn Roffe, principal of lead sponsor Wymondham College, said the single site would provide a modern, business-like environment for children to learn in.

“The focus is on making sure our educational outcomes are as good as they can be.

“This will be a state-of-the-art modern school designed for now and for the next 30 years.

“We’ve now got to try to create a balance between building a large school with a lot of activities and options but also making it feel like a small school that children feel part of.”

Mr Roffe added the school was lucky to get the money after the Government axed the Building Schools for the Future budget.

A letter given to parents last week stated that the school was looking at two possible sites away from the town centre for the new school.

The letter also includes information about the school’s plans to place Years 7 and 8 on the north campus and Years 9 and 10 on the south campus from September.

Year 11 will remain at their present sites for next year.

The decision – announced in December – was met with protests and anger from parents and students.

But the letter moves to allay parents’ fears by stating that transport between the two sites will be provided and that tours of each site will be given to children to make them feel welcome.

The plans to move between sites are part of governors’ intentions to integrate children from both sites in preparation for 2013.

A decision on the location of the new single site will be made next term.

Parents will also be invited to visit their child’s new site.