Thetford Free School gets greenlight as funding agreed

The new free school will move into part of the former Charles Burrell High School site.

The new free school will move into part of the former Charles Burrell High School site. - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2011

The Thetford Alternative Provision Free School has been given the all-clear to go ahead in September after a funding agreement was sealed.

A letter from Lord Nash, parliamentary under secretary of state for schools, to Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, confirmed the news today.

The letter also confirmed that the school will start life in temporary accommodation at the Guide and Scout Activity Centre in Two Mile Bottom, before moving permanently to the Thomas Paine Sixth Form Centre on Thetford Academy's south campus.

Nico Dobben, principal-elect, said the news was the culmination of years of hard work.

'We are over the moon and would like to thank all the parents, all the other schools in Thetford, all the businesses and the local MPs who have helped us to make this a reality,' he said.

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The school will initially offer 20 places to children who find mainstream school 'difficult', according to Mr Dobben.

'They are pupils with behavioural, emotional or social difficulties,' he said.

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The school will later grow to 40 pupils.

Mr Dobben added that negotiations to take on the former Thomas Paine Sixth Form Centre site are ongoing, despite Lord Nash's claim.

•For more on the story see tomorrow's Eastern Daily Press.

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