Harleston schools could convert to academies as part of vision for ‘all-through’ education in the town

Archbishop Sancroft High School staff and pupils celebrate the school's outstanding church inspectio

Archbishop Sancroft High School staff and pupils celebrate the school's outstanding church inspection report. Picture: ARCHBISHOP SANCROFT HIGH SCHOOL - Credit: Archant

Two Harleston schools have begun consultations to convert to academy status - with the dream of creating an 'all-through' school for the town.

The two future academies will also become the founding schools for a second Diocesan Multi Academy Trust (MAT) based in South Norfolk.

In a joint statement Anne Epps and Alan Thorp, chairmen of governors for Harleston Church of England Primary School and Archbishop Sancroft High School, said they had been actively considering the long-term sustainable future of education in the town.

'Our ultimate joint aim is to create an all-through school, which will still operate across the two sites within the town,' they said.

'We believe that by closer working together, we can secure an exciting and successful future for children from two to 16 years of age and strive to provide excellent working conditions and career opportunities for all staff.'

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A steering group from both governing bodies has been investigating the process, taking advice from the Department for Education (DfE), Norfolk County Council and the Diocese of Norwich.

A provisional timeline has been developed with the schools becoming separate academies in the late Autumn term of 2017 and the all-through school being established for September 2018.

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Head teacher Richard Cranmer of ASHS and head teacher of Harleston Church of England Primary school Lisa Blowfield said: 'We don't expect any changes in the character of either school​s and given that we are joining the Diocesan MAT this provides great opportunities to further strengthen the Christian ethos of the school.

'​Closer working together means we can share best practice and provide a seamless transition.

'Linking up with other schools more formally via the MAT further enhances this. We have been working very closely with the Diocese, the Local Authority and ​the DfE for some time to explore how to ensure that the young people of Harleston and the surrounding area have the best possible provision.

'The proposal to academise and ultimately form an all through school fits this vision perfectly.'

Open evenings will be held at the schools for parents and members of the public on July 12.

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