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Boarders could return to school for first time in 70 years

PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 February 2019

Thetford Grammar School could see new boarders for the first time in 70 years. Picture: Ian Burt

Thetford Grammar School could see new boarders for the first time in 70 years. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

A town centre school with more than 1,500 years of history is hoping to welcome back boarders for the first time in nearly a century.

The building, a former B&B, could become a new boarding house for Thetford Grammar School students. Picture: GoogleThe building, a former B&B, could become a new boarding house for Thetford Grammar School students. Picture: Google

Thetford Grammar School in Thetford has submitted plans for a new boarding house in the centre of the town.

The move could signal a return to boarding pupils at the school for the first time since the 1940s.

Proposals have been submitted to turn a former B&B on Raymond Street into a boarding house with the potential for up to 14 full-time boarders.

The house will include five bedrooms with ensuites, a sick room, and staff accommodation according to the plans submitted to Breckland District Council.

Michael Brewer, headteacher at Thetford Grammar, said it was a welcome return to boarding for the school.

He said: “I am boarding specialist which is something I have brought to the school and boarding schools allow for an increased offering for pupils.

“We can offer an extended day for day pupils and it lets us run more clubs and activities and boarders can come from around the world or from nearer by for those who parents are away working.”

The new boarding house is around a five minute walk to the school and was chosen due to its proximity to the school and the library.

Mr Brewer added: “The school, since it was bought, has been able to invest in many facilities and bringing boarding back is a very positive decision to make.

“Schools don’t make any money until you have filled the boarding house and we are hoping to create a thriving boarding community.

“It is five minutes walk from the school and around the corner from the doctors and the library and we couldn’t really pick a better location unless we built it ourselves.”

The school is aiming for the new boarding accommodation to be open in time for the new school year in September.

However, that is dependent on planning permission being granted and the school having its boarding licence approved by the department for education.

Did you board at Thetford Grammar School in the past? What are your memories of being a boarder? Email conor.matchett@archant.co.uk with your memories.

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