Great Yarmouth High could be latest school to join church’s academy trust

Great Yarmouth High School.December 2013.Picture: James Bass

Great Yarmouth High School.December 2013.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

Great Yarmouth High School could become the second high school to join Norfolk's fastest growing chain of academies.

Norwich Diocese Academy Trust. Chairman Fred Corbett.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich Diocese Academy Trust. Chairman Fred Corbett.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The school, which has a Christian ethos but is not a designated church school, is in the early stages of talks about joining the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT).

The trust has taken on 16 academies since November 2013, including the Open Academy in Norwich, which transferred to DNEAT last September. Open was previously sponsored by the Bishop of Norwich and businessman Graham Dacre.

The Rev Derrick Hill, chair of governors at Great Yarmouth High, said DNEAT seemed to meet its three criteria: improve outcomes for Great Yarmouth children, locally accountable governance that understood the specific needs of the town, and retaining a Christian ethos.

He said that, despite government proposals to remove the legal duty to consult parents, the school and DNEAT wanted to consult.

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He added: 'There's a lot of water to go under the bridge, but we want to involve people in this and let them see the benefits and the potential there.'

Fred Corbett, chairman of DNEAT, said: 'We are at a very early stage with them. They have expressed an interest in exploring with us whether it's a possibility. We have said 'yes, we will certainly entertain the idea'.'

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He said the process, if it went ahead, would be complex because of the long history of the school, and the trust it is based on.

Great Yarmouth High School last year held talks about joining the Inspiration Trust, but Mr Hill said they decided not to proceed because the Inspiration did not meet its criteria.

Inspiration subsequently announced a bid to set up a free school in the town, which would compete with the high school. The proposed Trafalgar College won government approval in March, and is due to open in 2016.

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