Sheringham High School to consult community about switch to academy status

Sheringham High School and Sixth Form Centre has become the latest school in Norfolk to look into switching to academy status.

The North Norfolk school, which has 834 pupils on roll, has launched public consultation on the possible change.

In a letter to parents, governors' chairman Gill Baker and headteacher Tim Roderick said governors had 'made no decision one way or another'.

But they added: 'Following a meeting of the governing body there appears to be a number of advantages to becoming an academy, including significant additional funding.

'Therefore, a consultation process is being set in motion in order that governors may be aware of the views of a wide range of parties before making a decision.'

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They said: 'The governors are of the belief that it is their responsibility to promote the best interests of this school.

'In considering converting to academy status governors are not seeking to change admissions arrangements, the length of the school day, term dates, school uniform, the school's work in the community or the way we work with other schools.

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'What the governors are doing is looking particularly at the financial advantages of becoming an academy in order to improve the resources and school environment for students and to prevent staff redundancies.'

Mrs Baker and Mr Roderick said falling birth rates meant there would be a decline in pupil numbers in the coming years, leading to reduced funding, while there was 'a further financial challenge' with the government's reduction in the school's sixth form funding per pupil - which would mean a drop of �150,000 in sixth form funding in three years.

Norfolk currently has eight academies. They are: Wymondham College; Open Academy, Norwich; City Academy Norwich; Ormiston Victory Academy, Costessey; Ormiston Venture Academy, Gorleston; King's Lynn Academy; Thetford Academy; Martham Primary.

A number of other schools have expressed an interest, including Sheringham High's neighbour, Cromer High, which is currently applying for a switch after a consultation period ended earlier this year.

The government has opened the door to numerous applications after saying that all schools that are 'performing well' can change status.

Academy status takes schools out of local authority control and means they get all their money direct from the government. They also have freedom to set their own curriculum and admissions policies.

? Anyone wanting to comment on the possible change of status at Sheringham High can write to Mrs Baker at Sheringham High, Holt Road, Sheringham, NR26 8ND, or email A meeting will be held in the school hall at 7pm on May 18, and the consultation period will close on May 27. Governors plan to make a decision on June 14.

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