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Schools' joy at specialist status

PUBLISHED: 09:21 04 February 2008 | UPDATED: 13:38 02 June 2010

A brighter future for Thetford's two high schools has been signalled after they were both granted specialist status.

Teachers, governors, and pupils at Charles Burrell High School and Rosemary Musker High School are celebrating after the announcement, which will help to further enhance educational standards within the town.

A brighter future for Thetford's two high schools has been signalled after they were both granted specialist status.

Teachers, governors and pupils at Charles Burrell High School and Rosemary Musker High School are celebrating after the announcement, which will help to further enhance educational standards within the town.

The news came after the two schools worked together to raise the £50,000 they each needed to bid for the status, which will be used to bolster recent rapid improvements.

Rosemary Musker and Charles Burrell will each receive £100,000 from the government and a further £129 per pupil, per year, to help implement their specialist school development plan in technology and humanities respectively.

The announcement, which is set to benefit the whole of Thetford, means that 47 out of Norfolk's 52 secondary schools now have specialist status.

Nancy Robinson, headteacher at Charles Burrell, said the bid was the next stage in the school's improvement programme. The school has seen GCSE results improve by 17 percentage points between 2006 and 2007.

"This is fabulous news for the school and comes on the back of our best exam results ever. We are very proud of our achievements and this announcement acknowledges all the good work that is going on in the school," she said.

"Our specialism focuses on English, drama and history which are our highest- achieving subjects and which are very well taught within the school. These subjects are ideally placed to raise literacy and to improve self-esteem, confidence and communication.

John Lucas, headteacher at Rosemary Musker High School, said both schools were grateful to the individuals, businesses and charitable trusts that helped raise the £100,000 needed," he said.

"This is tremendous news. It is also good for the town to have both schools being successful with their bids.

"This comes after a rise in our results and at a time when are we moving forward in many areas thanks to the really hard work of staff and students and governors. Being a technology college will help us to equip our students with key skills that are so important for the 21st century and complement the work done by other departments in school," he said.

The success of the specialist school bids was praised by Christopher Fraser, MP for South West Norfolk.

"The government has recognised that these two schools offer exceptional education in specialised areas, and credit goes to the staff, students, governors and parents, all of whom were determined to prove that recognition was deserved.

"At an exciting time for Thetford,

I believe that the schools'

much-deserved success will help unlock its true potential by raising educational standards in the town," he said.

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