Wymondham College’s academy trust submits formal plans for primary boarding school

Wymondham College principal Jonathan Taylor. Picture: Nick Dunmur

Wymondham College principal Jonathan Taylor. Picture: Nick Dunmur - Credit: Archant

Plans for the first state-funded primary boarding school in the east of England have moved a step closer, after Wymondham College's academy trust formally submitted plans to set up a new free school.

If approved by the Department for Education, the new 420-place school would be sponsored by the Sapientia Education Trust, which is based at the college.

Its plans envisage it having boarding places for 30 of its pupils in the two oldest year groups.

This week's decision to seek approval followed a public consultation which college principal Jonathan Taylor said had received 'really positive responses from the local community'.

The possible location of the school has been narrowed down, following feedback from the community.

The original proposal could have seen the new school located on or near Wymondham College, or in the wider Wymondham, Hethersett and Cringleford area.

However, Mr Taylor said: 'There was a strong public view that siting it on the college site, or near it, would be a significant preference of the local community.'

Most Read

The trust has included this in its proposal.

Mr Taylor said many members of the public had questions about whether pupils at the primary school would gain a highly-sought place at the college.

However, he said Sapientia did not yet have a view on this issue, and it would carry out a consultation on this before it opened.

He added: 'The one big change is that we could now potentially look at a September 2018 opening, rather than September 2019. A number of parents indicated that if it was possible, September 2018 would be supported.

'That's within the possible time frame of the Department for Education, but it is too early to say anything definitive.'

He said he did not expect a decision on the application until the New Year.