Merger could see 15 schools under one academy trust

Sheringham High School

Sheringham High School, part of the North Norfolk Academy Trust which plans to merge into the Synergy Multi Academy Trust. - Credit: Archant

Academy trusts with schools across mid and north Norfolk are set to merge with a aim of becoming “greater than the sum of their parts”.

Under proposals, North Norfolk Academy Trust (NNAT) would merge into the Synergy Multi Academy Trust at the start of the new school year in September.

A consultation process has now been launched to gather the views of parents, staff and other stakeholders.

The proposals would mean that schools within NNAT will transfer to Synergy, which would then include three secondary schools, an all through school and 11 primary schools.

Andrew Richardson, NNAT chief executive, said: “We are very excited because this is a merger where both parties are equally successful at what they do, have equally outstanding staff, equally committed parents and equally aspirational students. We see this as a real recipe for further success.”

Sheringham High School head teacher, Dr Andrew Richardson. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Andrew Richardson, North Norfolk Academy Trust chief executive. - Credit: Archant


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NNAT includes Stalham High School, which has 424 pupils and is rated good by Ofsted, and Sheringham High School which became an academy in 2011. 

In December 2013 the Department for Education approved the school, which has 719 students and was also rated good on its last Ofsted inspection in 2017, as a sponsor of other schools in the trust.

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Those include Antingham and Southrepps Primary School, Cromer Junior School, Gresham Village School and Nursery. 

The Synergy Multi Academy Trust currently supports 10 schools across mid and North Norfolk including Reepham High School and College, which is one of the largest secondary school in the area with 1,095 students. 

Robert Martlew, Synergy CEO, said: “The trusts are local to each other and have shared values and a common purpose. 

“The merger will provide real strength and the enlarged trust will have excellent capacity to support the work of all of our schools.

Stalham High School.

Stalham High School - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

“The merger will provide many opportunities for pupils and staff alike.

“Staff will work collaboratively across our schools, enabling them to find solutions together. Both North Norfolk and Synergy believe that the talents within schools working together can become greater than the sum of their parts.”

Parents, staff and stakeholders have been informed directly about how they might contribute to the consultation process over the issues raised. 

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