Plans unveiled for new Norwich school

Plans have been unveiled for a new Norwich school which its backers hope will find and develop Norfolk's next generation of entrepreneurs.

The Norwich Studio School, which would be based at The Hewett School on Hall Road but run separately from it, would bridge the gap between education and business for 300 pupils aged between 14 and 19.

The 14 to 16-year-old students will still study for GCSEs in mathematics, English, English literature and double science and an ICT qualification but they will also study a new BTEC qualification in enterprise and entrepreneurship, while the older pupils will study A-levels and the BTEC.

But a key element would involve pupils working closely with local businesses to equip them with the skills to turn them into the next wave of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Rob Anthony, associate head teacher at The Hewett School, said: 'We have developed enterprise activities as part of our offer to students but we believe that a whole school dedicated to finding the young entrepreneurs of the future and developing their talent is what is needed.

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'That is why the school's governors and trust have asked us to explore the setting up of a Studio School for Norwich.

'Although the Norwich Studio School would be run as a separate school, with its own unique ethos and identity, it will be created as a 'school-within-a-school'.

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'This unique arrangement means that it is far easier to set up and the two schools can share resources such as catering, IT and library facilities.'

The Norwich Studio School has gained the backing of Norfolk County Council and the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.

Barry Dennis, president of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said: 'Business and education needs to work much closer together if Norfolk's skills issue is to be addressed.

'Good old fashioned work experience is no longer enough. Students need to link with the business world as soon as possible.

'A Studio School based at the heart of the county would allow this to happen. Some businesses would see it as another arm to their recruitment processes and would give an ability to spot talent at an early stage.'

The backers are seeking �395,000 from the Department for Education for �395,000 to turn a tower block at The Hewett School into the new school in time for opening in September 2012.

Mr Anthony said: 'There are lots of challenges ahead to bring this new school to Norwich, but we believe that it is the right think to do and will bring immediate benefits to students, the local economy and the greater Norwich area.'

Students would be able to apply from any school in Norfolk. The aim is to start the school with 50 students and grow to 300 by 2016.

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