Thorpe St Andrew School could become an academy

Thorpe St Andrew School. Photo: Steve Adams

Thorpe St Andrew School. Photo: Steve Adams

Norfolk's biggest school could become an academy following an approach from the civil servant who oversees academies in the East of England.

Thorpe St Andrew School, which is one of the few remaining non-academy secondary schools in Norfolk, told parents it will 'research the facts in light of local and national developments in education'.

The school received Ofsted's top 'outstanding' rating in 2014, and has often been held up by anti-academy opponents as proof that schools do not need to become academies to succeed.

In July, regional schools commissioner Tim Coulson told the EDP and Evening News he would 'be knocking on the door' of successful non-academies such as Thorpe St Andrew about converting, but the decision would be entirely theirs.

In a statement in the school's newsletter, the school's chair of governors Linda Steynor said: 'The school governors have recently received a positive invitation from the regional schools commissioner to consider extending the school's role in working with other schools by adopting academy status.

'Governors have had preliminary discussions and have decided to research the facts in the light of local and national developments in education.

'Governors wish to reassure students, staff, parents and the wider community that the overriding priority, as they investigate possibilities for the future, will be to safeguard the ethos and success of Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form, to protect its students and staff from future isolation or threats and to widen the support we offer to other schools.

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'We will keep everyone informed and make opportunities where full consultation, with students, staff, parents and the wider community can take place.

'We are grateful to all of our community and partners for your ongoing support and ask for understanding as to why it is ?timely for us now to consider such options for the future.'

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