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Revealed: the most popular primary schools in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 06:00 08 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:27 08 May 2019

St Clements Hill Primary Academy in Norwich, which opened in 2018, has only filled around one quarter of its places for the 2019/intake. Picture Victoria

St Clements Hill Primary Academy in Norwich, which opened in 2018, has only filled around one quarter of its places for the 2019/intake. Picture Victoria

Archant

A Norwich primary school which opened its doors last year is struggling to fill reception places for its second intake, figures reveal.

As of April 16, the day offers for primary school places were made, St Clements Hill Primary Academy had only filled 16 of its 60 places for the new reception intake in September.

According to admissions data from Norfolk County Council, it had one of the highest vacancy rates in the county (73pc) and was the only school in Norwich to have a vacancy rate higher than 40pc for the new intake.

The data, covering 2019/20 reception place offers at 312 primary and infant schools in Norfolk, revealed that 40 had at least half their places vacant as of April 16 while 88 schools were oversubscribed.

St Clements Hill Primary in La Safferne Gardens opened in September 2018 with a reception class of 21 and is built to take up to 420 pupils.

Bignold Primary School in Norwich is one of the city's most oversubscribed schools for the 2019/20 intake. Picture: ANTONY KELLYBignold Primary School in Norwich is one of the city's most oversubscribed schools for the 2019/20 intake. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

But executive headteacher Glenn Russell said only a small percentage of the houses scheduled for the academy's area have so far been built.

He said: "We intend to grow with, and for, the area. We have, from the outset, engaged with the catchment area's residents through open evenings and poster campaigns to heighten awareness of the academy and the potential it offers for pupils."

Don Evans, chief executive of Right for Success Trust, which operates the school, said: "As a brand new academy, it will take time for St Clements to build up its reputation locally.

"However, with the excellent facilities the academy offers and the overwhelmingly positive response we've had from parents, we are confident that take up of places will grow going forward."

Glenn Russell, executive headteacher at St Clements Hill Primary Academy. The school has one of the highest vacancy rates in Norfolk for the 2019/20 reception intake, according to council data. Picture: Victoria PertusaGlenn Russell, executive headteacher at St Clements Hill Primary Academy. The school has one of the highest vacancy rates in Norfolk for the 2019/20 reception intake, according to council data. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Bignold Primary School in Wessex Street was one of the most oversubscribed schools in the city - it filled its 60 places and had to refuse applications for a further 33 children.

Executive headteacher Clare Jones felt the school's "good" Ofsted rating and word of mouth helped to attract families.

"For a number of reasons Bignold is an attractive school," she said. "It is a lovely, city centre, multicultural, inclusive school where everybody matters."

Even more oversubscribed was The Free School Norwich, which received 53 applications for its 24 places.

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