Academy change consultation in Thetford

The cost of new school uniforms and the impact on pupils’ education were top of concerns raised at a meeting to determine views on a possible new academy.

The Admirals’ Junior School in Thetford could be converted by November 1 if parents, pupils and staff agree to the changes.

But while some at the meeting questioned the need for a newly-branded uniform just weeks into a new school year, others queried whether transforming to an academy would improve pupils’ learning.

Headteacher Theresa Rogers said she believed the move was the best thing for the school considering nationwide funding cuts, and stressed the cost of any new clothes would be kept to a minimum.

“It seems to me we’ve got an opportunity to think a bit more strategically and creatively about the space we use,” she said. “We’re fighting for every child and for what we’ve got and to make it better. I’ve always said to staff you’ve got to aim high.”

If given the go-ahead, the Academy Transformation Trust (ATT), a not-for-profit organisation already involved with schools across the region, would act as sponsor. Changes to the school could include a new name and new branding, although views by parents, pupils and staff would be sought before a decision is made.

Admission policies would remain the same and the curriculum would not change.

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Chief executive of ATT, Ian Cleland, said the move would give the school, on Admirals Way, which is rated as satisfactory by Ofsted, around an extra �100,000 a year to spend.

A final decision will be made on October 10.