Acle Academy will be sponsored by new academy trust based at Hellesdon High School

Acle Academy. Picture: James Bass

Acle Academy. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Acle Academy has been confirmed as the first high school to be sponsored by a new academy trust based at Hellesdon High School.

Gerard Batty, executive headteacher of Hellesdon High School

Gerard Batty, executive headteacher of Hellesdon High School - Credit: Archant

The new organisation, which will be known as the Wensum Trust, has initial government permission to take on one high school, and one primary school.

Acle Academy told parents in June it was looking at joining a multi-academy trust to help raise standards, and has now been told by the Department for Education that it will join the Wensum Trust.

Acting Acle headteacher Maxine Blocksidge said she was happy with the decision, and added: 'I just think it provides opportunities to build on the good work we have been carrying out since May, and it helps us to raise standards in the future.'

She said the key benefit would be the chance to share teacher training and development.

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Acle Academy will be a familiar setting for Gerard Batty - Hellesdon High's executive headteacher, and Wensum Trust chief executive - who was previously head at the school.

Mrs Blocksidge said: 'He has got the link with Acle, and what really enthuses me is that Gerard has already said to us that the unique ethos of Acle is still very important to him.

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'That is really heartening for our staff.'

Mr Batty said the first priority would be Year 11 pupils who will be taking their GCSEs next summer, closely followed by Year 10.

He said: 'It's a school that has got great potential. It's always a very supportive local community and I think with the two schools pooling resources and knowledge and skills, I think we will be able to improve things quickly.'

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