A school in the heart of the city is looking to expand into a former office block as part of an "urgent" need to accommodate soaring pupil numbers.

Norwich School, a private institution based in the grounds of the cathedral, has submitted an application for new classrooms and teaching spaces at 15 Upper King Street - a site last occupied by accounting firm Larking Gowen until July 2022. 

Norwich Evening News: The space has been empty since July 2022The space has been empty since July 2022 (Image: Norwich City Council)

The news comes as the 900-year-old school attempts to cope with a mass influx of students, rising from 800 in 2008 to around 1,200 in 2023. 

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Documents submitted to the city council claim the expansion is part of an "urgent need" to "accommodate the growth in pupil numbers in a safe, efficient and sustainable manner".

These also state the need "to consolidate and group teaching and support services to aid timetabling" in order to "improve educational delivery and experience". 

The school is planning to develop 17 new teaching spaces across four storeys, with the building's lower ground floor being an archive, storage facility and post room.

Bosses consider the existing on-site classrooms to be "deficient" for some subjects, including the oversubscribed maths department in Bishop's Palace. 

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It is understood this limitation is forcing some teachers to take lessons outside of their respective departments.

Norwich Evening News: The school is based in the grounds of Norwich CathedralThe school is based in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral (Image: Newsquest)

A spokesman for Norwich School told the city council: "In order to address the current deficiency in teaching space, the school requires new full-sized classrooms of uniform shape with appropriate IT provision together with supporting office, and breakout spaces.

"The facilities must be within easy walking distance of the existing school buildings located within the Cathedral Close to allow for ease of timetabling, pupil transfer time and staff deployments.

"The building would act as supplementary accommodation to the existing school facilities, providing critical teaching accommodation to meet the onward needs of the school and will enable it to continue to deliver its educational functions."