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Eight children temporarily excluded from school in new head’s first week

PUBLISHED: 15:39 23 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:09 24 May 2018

Trafalgar College in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Trafalgar College in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2016

Eight children have been temporarily excluded from a new school, in its new head’s first few days at the helm.

The children received fixed-term exclusions this week from Trafalgar College, a free school in Great Yarmouth.

On Friday, it was announced the government had approved plans from the Inspiration Trust - which runs it - to merge Trafalgar with nearby Great Yarmouth Charter Academy.

MORE: Great Yarmouth High Schools are to merge, it is confirmed

The merger - which will come into force from September - has proved divisive in the community, with concerns centring on the religious designation and strict approach to behaviour at Charter.

The trust said the exclusions had been made for “repeated poor behaviour, refusing to follow instructions, and rudeness towards staff including swearing”.

When the merger was confirmed, Iain Mackintosh - former deputy head at Charter - was appointed as Trafalgar head of school, replacing former principal Ian Burchett, who had overseen the school since it opened in September 2016 and will now take on another role in the trust.

Several parents said on social media they plan to remove their children from the school, while a campaign to see the decision overturned is ongoing.

Charter - formerly Great Yarmouth High School - has been controversial since it became an academy under the trust last September. A strict set of behaviour rules were introduced, which the trust said was necessary to improve performance and behaviour. In 2017, the school saw just 30pc of its pupils achieve a grade four or above - roughly equivalent to a C - in English and maths.

But a spokesperson for the trust said on Wednesday that not all the Charter rules would be implemented at Trafalgar, with the school maintaining its “own rules and procedures”.

MORE: Parents claim plans to merge two schools were a ‘done deal’ before consultation began

It comes after a new headteacher at another Inspiration Trust school, Norwich Primary Academy, took a similarly strict start to his headship in February, with nine fixed term exclusions in his first few days.

And 35 children were removed from Charter in as many days in its first term last autumn - though 12 pupils applied to join during the same period.

• Have you been affected by the changes? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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