Wymondham College submits bid for academy status

One of Norfolk's most successful schools has submitted a formal application to become an academy.

One of Norfolk's most successful schools has submitted a formal application to become an academy.

The governing body of Wymondham College - England's largest state boarding school - decided to put forward the proposal to the secretary of state during a meeting on Friday.

The school had already registered its interest in joining the new wave of academies in the summer following an announcement by education secretary Michael Gove that all secondary, primary and special schools could apply for the status, with schools rated as outstanding in their last Ofsted inspection put on a fast-track route.

The college, which was rated as outstanding in 2007 and regularly appears in the top 200 schools for its GCSE and A-level performances, should find out in the next couple of weeks whether its bid has been successful.

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College principal Melvyn Roffe said the status would not result in many changes at the school, but would give it the flexibility to develop things including a 'more innovative' curriculum and increase pastoral care for its 1,200 plus students - 60pc of which live on its site at Morley.

He added that consultations with staff, parents and students prior to Friday's decision had resulted in a 'generally positive response'.

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'We have an association with the local education authority but the amount of things they provide for us is not that great,' he said. 'We have the capacity financially so it's not so much why but why not?'

Mr Roffe added that academy status would not alter the college's commitments, including its role as lead sponsor of Thetford Academy, which opened in the grounds of Charles Burrell and Rosemary Musker High Schools in September.

'Along with that (academy status) we will remain committed to being part of the Norfolk family of schools, the Thetford Academy and partner schools. It will be at the margins where you will see changes. They will be small differences but significant ones,' he said.

More details on the college's plans will be announced following the secretary of state's decision.

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