Most popular primary school in Thetford turned away 33 pupils, figures reveal

The Redcastle Family School in Thetford. Picture: Ian Burt

The Redcastle Family School in Thetford. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk school had to turn away more than half its capacity as it proved to be the most popular in south west Norfolk.

Drake Primary School, on Fairfields, in Thetford, had to turn away 33 pupils after its 60 spaces were filled, new figures revealed.

As of April 16, when offers for primary school places were made, Drake Primary had received 93 requests to join its new reception intake.

According to admissions data from Norfolk County Council it had the most refusals in the area, followed by Mundford Church of England Primary Academy and Thompson Primary, which refused two students.

Both those schools, though, have less places than Drake, with Mundford holding 28 and Thompson just 15.

Only one school reached full capacity with no refusals - Redcastle Family School, on St Martin's Way, which accepted 30 youngsters.

There were four schools in the Thetford area that, when the figures were released, had vacant spaces.

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Great Hockham Primary School and Nursery, in Hockham, had three spaces, Norwich Road Academy, in Thetford, had 12 and Queensway Infant Academy And Nursery, also in Thetford, had 15.

Meanwhile, Raleigh Infant Academy, on Admirals Way in Thetford, has the largest number of spaces, with 36 free out of a possible 90.

Rosy Lord, director of HR, marketing and estates at the Eastern Multi-Academy Trust, which runs Raleigh, said: "Raleigh has definitely experienced fluctuations in pupil numbers over the last 10 years. We currently only have six spaces in reception but the number of spaces is likely to grow for September.

"We have been advised by admissions that demographically numbers across the board in Thetford are lower for September 2019, however we are very positive about the future as our nursery is full and there is a waiting list.

"Raleigh is proactive about working with the local community and on projects with local organisations. The trust believes in the future of Raleigh, it is already making great strides in its journey since joining the trust in July 2018."

Drake Primary was contacted for comment.