�50 school plan causing rift in Thetford
Steve Downes A POTENTIAL rift is opening up between the two Thetford high schools over plans for a �50m-plus academy that seeks to bring them together, it has been revealed.
A POTENTIAL rift is opening up between the two Thetford high schools over plans for a �50m-plus academy that seeks to bring them together, it has been revealed.
Consultation is currently underway on the unique plan for an eventual three-site academy, which would open in September in the buildings of Rosemary Musker and Charles Burrell high schools.
If approved, by 2013 it would move to new buildings on three sites - the schools and a “Thetford Forum” development in the centre of the town.
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The academy, under lead sponsor Wymondham College and co-sponsors Easton College, West Suffolk College and Norfolk County Council, would cater for more than 2,000 youngsters aged 11 to 18 years.
According to a report to the council's children's services overview and scrutiny panel on Thursday, the public consultation, which runs until March 24, has unearthed some opposition.
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Tim Newton, senior development manager, told members: “Just under two-thirds of the respondents have been supportive of the proposal, but opinion varies between the two high school communities.
“People from Charles Burrell are generally supportive, while there are significant reservations from Rosemary Musker staff, parents and some pupils.”
Mr Newton said there were worries about movement between sites and concerns about integrating the two different communities served by the schools.
He told the panel that similar consultations for two other proposed academies had so far seen “over 90pc” in favour of the Costessey plan and “over 80pc” supporting the scheme to replace Oriel High at Gorleston.
Friday was the closing date for applications for the role of �115,000-a-year principal designate of the Thetford academy.
The other two planned schemes, under lead sponsor Ormiston Trust, have already appointed principal designates.