South Norfolk church schools are set to merge
The Diocese of Norwich St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust has been given the green light to amalgamate Harleston CE Primary Academy and Archbishop Sancroft High School into one All Through School.
Following a six-week consultation in September 2021 with questionnaires and a public meeting, the decision to become an All Through School has been welcomed by staff and parents alike.
Richard Cranmer, CEO St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust explained that by closely working together, they can secure an exciting and successful future for all children from 3 to 16 years of age and strive to provide excellent working conditions and career opportunities for all staff.
He said: “This is a vision we have been working on since June 2017 and we are thrilled that we have been given the green light from the Department for Education to amalgamate Harleston CE Primary Academy and Archbishop Sancroft High School into one All Through School.”
Richard Cranmer said back in September 2021 that ensuring successful, sustainable education in market towns within rural areas is challenging.
In January 2019, the governing bodies of ASHS and HPA took a significant step towards this vision by coming together to form a single governing body called The Harleston Federation that oversees the work of both academies today.
In July 2021 the Trust restructured the leadership team across the academies to reflect the Federation structure, including the appointment of one Executive Headteacher. This was a key step in our journey towards an All Through School and the school improvement impact it brings.
Richard Cranmer said: “The St Benet’s Trust Board, with full support from the Diocese of Norwich, have asked that the two academies now start actively planning to become one All Through School, taking children from the age of three to 16 years and opening the new All Through School at the latest by September 2023. It is our intention to achieve this by September 2022.”
Mr Rob Connelly, was appointed Executive Headteacher for the Harleston Federation in September 2021. He said: “The Harleston Federation represents a very significant milestone for this very special community.”
He added: “The future of both schools and ultimately the formation of an All-Through School will be supported by ensuring exceptional staff provide the foundations and consistency required to experience ‘Life in all its fullness’.”
Pictured above are Rob Connelly, left, and Richard Cranmer. Picture from St Benet's MAT.