Thetford free school consultation begins with support from public meeting
10:20 01 December 2012
Thirty people who attended a public meeting about proposals for a free school in Thetford unanimously backed the plans.
Education secretary Michael Grove approved plans for the school, which would cater for pupils with learning difficulties or behavioural problems, in July.
However, it now needs to prove it has public support and a suitable building so it can unlock funding from the Department of Education, which will also ask whether it has the backing of Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils.
Thursday’s public meeting saw the official launch of the consultation, which will run until January 24, and headteacher designate Nico Dobben said negotiations about a building in Thetford should be concluded by Christmas, although he could not reveal the location.
He said: “We have had tremendous support but now we have got to get the go ahead we have to prove the support by having a questionnaire asking people if they still support it.”
The results of the consultation will be subject to an independent report before being passed to the Department of Education.
Mr Dobben said the free school would give priority to Thetford students and have close links with other schools in the area, and would buy in services such as human resources, payroll and finance from Norfolk County Council.
The consultation will be available on www.thetfordfreeschool.co.uk from Tuesday December 4.