Consultation launched on plans to merge primary and secondary schools

Rob Connelly, Executive Headteacher and Richard Cranmer, CEO of St Benet's MAT.

Rob Connelly, Executive Headteacher and Richard Cranmer, CEO of St Benet's MAT. - Credit: St Benet's MAT

A six-week consultation has been launched to hear people's views on plans to join two schools into one all-through school for pupils aged three to 16.

The Diocese of Norwich St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust started consultation on Monday, September 13 on a proposal to bring together Harleston CE Primary Academy (HPA) and Archbishop Sancroft High School (ASHS).

The trust said it has also made new appointments in light of this progression, consisting of teachers and staff for the year ahead. 

St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust appoint team for Harleston schools

Pic, from left: Jane Price, deputy headteacher, Richard Cranmer, CEO of St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust, Mark Carlyle (head of school), Rob Connelly, executive headteacher for the Harleston Federation, Dan Stagg, assistant headteacher, Laura Botwright, SENDCo, Emma Johnson, executive Business Manager. - Credit: St Benet’s MAT

Richard Cranmer, CEO of St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust, said the federated governing body at both academies are "keen to encourage and develop close working", with the aim of creating an all-through school that will operate across the two sites.

He added: "This was first raised publicly during the consultation on becoming academies back in June 2017, when the then-separate governing bodies outlined their vision for the future.

"Ensuring successful, sustainable education in market towns within rural areas is challenging.  


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"We therefore believe that by closer working together, we can secure an exciting and successful future for all children from three to 16 years of age and strive to provide excellent working conditions and career opportunities for all staff.”

The governing bodies of the schools moved forward with plans in January 2019 to form a single governing body called The Harleston Federation that oversees the work of both academies.

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And in July this year, the trust restructured the leadership team across the schools to "reflect the Federation structure", which included the appointment of one executive headteacher.  

The CEO said the trust board has asked the schools to begin "actively planning" to become one all-through school, with hopes to open before September 2023.  

Rob Connelly, executive headteacher for the Harleston Federation, said the new structure represents a "significant milestone" for the community. 

Meetings will be held for parents, carers and the public on Tuesday, October 19 at 2.15pm to 3.15pm at Harleston Primary Academy, and at 5pm to 6pm at Archbishop Sancroft High School.

The consultation will be open until Friday, October 22.

To share your views visit https://forms.office.com/r/cNpRZzMr56

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