Sixth form provision will return to Swaffham, pledges head of trust poised to take over Swaffham Hamond’s

The head of the trust poised to take over Swaffham Hamond's High School has promised sixth form provision will return to the town - possibly as early as this autumn.

Academy Transformation Trust (AAT) chief executive Ian Cleland made the pledge as he yesterday met staff and students on an introductory tour of the school, which Ofsted inspectors last week branded inadequate.

The trust is seeking Government approval to take over Swaffham Hamond's, as well as Hockwold and Methwold community school, in September 2012.

The trust is also due to take over Queensway junior school in Thetford in September, and Mr Cleland said ATT is seeking to build a portfolio of special, primary and secondary schools.

He confirmed he is in talks with other local schools, but declined to name them because final decisions had not been made.

He said: 'In west Norfolk there will be a strong ATT presence which will allow us to add value by collaboration.

'There will definitely be a sixth form in Swaffham. The only issue is whether we can start in August this year. It's very, very late and it would have to be a vocational area to get it moving.'

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Answering year 10 students' questions, he said a decision about changing the school's name would be made by students, staff and the community, but a new uniform was unlikely.

Nicole Roberts, 14, said: 'I think the academy is going to make the students more proud of their school. When you become an academy we will get more students.'

Mr Cleland said he was keen the sixth form would offer extended provision to the surrounding community.

He said: 'I'm impressed with the school. I think those students I have met - you could not meet a better group any where.

'It's my commitment to make sure they get the sort of education they deserve so their potential is fully developed and we can give them the sixth form and education that will give something back to Swaffham.'

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss said sixth form provision in 2012 was unlikely because students had accepted places elsewhere, but hoped it would include core subjects like maths and science.

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