Villagers have accused an academy trust of trying to shut off their children's route into one of Norfolk's most oversubscribed schools.

Traditionally, children in the village of Mulbarton have gone on to attend nearby Hethersett Academy, which is run by the Inspiration Trust.

Eastern Daily Press: However, councillors in the village fear that touted changes to admissions policies at the school will see youngsters given "practically no chance" of attending the outstanding-rated school.

The proposed changes, planned for September 2025, would see the new Cringleford Prep school added as a named feeder school for Hethersett - while Mulbarton Primary would instead become a named feeder school for Hewett Academy in Norwich.

While the distance by road between the village and the schools is identical, parents have previously argued the rural setting of Hethersett is more similar to the village and should therefore be taken into account.

It follows on from a summer when almost 40 Mulbarton pupils missed out on places at Hethersett Academy after their parents had listed it as their top choice.

Eastern Daily Press:

In a letter sent to the trust, Liberal Democrat councillors Jim Webber, Ian Spratt and Bob McClenning, have urged bosses to reconsider the move.

They wrote: "As you know, the geography of Norfolk already limits the choice of schools for children from Mulbarton.

"The changes proposed by the trust simply make a bad situation worse.

"We can readily understand why some view your admissions procedures as 'disgraceful social engineering' which does not seem aligned to your objectives and values".

Eastern Daily Press: Hethersett Academy.

The trust, however, has said the changes have not been finalised - although a final decision will be published no later than March 15.

A spokeswoman said: "It is important to Inspiration Trust, as admission authority, that were consider all factors when making admission arrangements.

"As such, we have invited people to comment on the proposed arrangements. The consultation period ran from November 20 until January 15, to give time for parents and other key stakeholders to consider and give their views.

"We would like to provide the reassurance that any responses received during the timeframe will be reviewed by the board of trustees and used to inform the final admission arrangements."