New Norwich primary school could be created

Parents at two Norwich schools are being given the opportunity to have their say about proposals to create a new primary school in Norfolk.

Parents at Thomas More Catholic Junior School in Jessop Road and St John's Catholic Infant School in Heigham Road, have been told of possible plans to merge the two schools together.

The proposals could see one of the existing schools being expanded or a new school being built.

The new school would have capacity for 420 pupils. At the moment the infant school can accommodate 180 and the junior 340.

Headteacher of both schools, Kim Payne said: 'They are both very good schools. From an educational perspective the possible merger would mean greater continuity for children because at the moment they have to move and re-establish themselves.

'It will also be better for the staff. Sometimes we feel that we are just getting to know the children and they move on somewhere else. We only have children for three years at St John's.

'Many children have brothers and sisters at different schools. The proposal would be really exciting for family learning.

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'It would be good for social interaction between older and younger children. Years five and six enjoy buddying up and looking after the younger children.'

The schools are currently federated and share a head teacher. From September this year they will also share a governing body.

Mrs Payne said: 'Even if we didn't amalgamate we will still have one governing body and one head teacher.

'There will be financial benefits from economies of scale and it would be easier for the parents who have to drop children off at different schools.

'The governors will look at the responses The decision is the local authority's.'

A letter sent to parents said: 'The amalgamation would be achieved by both schools closing and the new primary school opening at the earliest on September 1, 2012. All children currently attending both schools would be offered places in the new school.

'The school would open with 17 classes initially; this would be reduced to 14 over a period of three years.'

Parents have until Friday October 14 to share their views with the governors.