Proposal to shut Alderman Swindell and North Denes primary schools in Yarmouth is best option against backdrop of budget pressures says headteacher Debbie Whiting

North Denes headteacher Debbie Whiting who supports a bid for a new school in north Yarmouth.
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North Denes headteacher Debbie Whiting who supports a bid for a new school in north Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2014

A Great Yarmouth primary school is 'wholeheartedly' backing a £6.4m school merger that has also triggered a campaign to fight it.

Battle lines are being drawn over the plans being put forward by Norfolk County Council to sweep away Alderman Swindell and North Denes primary schools to create a single school on the North Denes site.

The first in a series of drop-in events for people to find out more is being staged at North Denes tonight, 5-6pm, and Alderman Swindell is opposing the plan.

Meanwhile Debbie Whiting, head at North Denes said in a statement that the move was 'a wonderful opportunity.'

She said: 'At North Denes Primary, we all wholeheartedly believe that the £6m earmarked for improvement to schools in north Yarmouth would be best spent on a brand new state of the art primary school.


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'This presents a wonderful opportunity for the young people in our community to be educated in a modern, well equipped environment; rather than in two old buildings that aren't fit for purpose.

'This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to build a flagship school on a large and very secure site.

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'A modern, well-equipped, high quality educational establishment is exactly what the children of Great Yarmouth need and deserve - for this and future generations. Let's give north Yarmouth a school of which they can be proud – why wouldn't we?'

She said the proposal came against a background of budget cuts, meaning that smaller schools struggled financially.

With all schools being asked to do better with less money a brand new school represented best value for tax payers, she said, because one new building would cost less to run and savings could be made on staffing.

She was also keen to stress that remaining as two schools would not mean maintaining the status quo.

In reality, North Denes would move from having 14 smaller classes to seven larger ones over time, she said, as well as having to cut teachers and pupil support staff.

Ultimately it would mean that children would suffer, their education would suffer and the long term future of the community would suffer, she added.

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