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New £9m free school could open in Norfolk next year

PUBLISHED: 06:00 11 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:21 11 January 2019

A new prep school is set to be built on the site of Wymondham College. PICTURE: Wymondham College.

A new prep school is set to be built on the site of Wymondham College. PICTURE: Wymondham College.

Wymondham College

One of the country's only state boarding schools for primary age children could open in Norfolk next year.

Jonathan Taylor, chief executive of the Sapientia Education Trust. Picture: Nick DunmurJonathan Taylor, chief executive of the Sapientia Education Trust. Picture: Nick Dunmur

Subject to planning, Wymondham College Prep School could start taking children in reception year from September 2020 and would eventually have places for 452 pupils – including 32 boarding places for children in years five and six.

Senior leaders from the Sapientia Education Trust, the school’s sponsor, will be working with architects and contractors from February to start bringing their vision to life.

The school, which will be on the site of fellow state boarding school Wymondham College, run by the same trust, is expected to cost around £9m to build.

Kelly Stokes, director of education at the trust, said the new school would “extend the ethos” of Wymondham College to younger children.

Kelly Stokes, director of primary improvement at the Sapientia Education Trust, which is opening a new primary school in Wymondham. Picture: Sarah SturdyKelly Stokes, director of primary improvement at the Sapientia Education Trust, which is opening a new primary school in Wymondham. Picture: Sarah Sturdy

“The new school will have the same commitment to combining high quality teaching and learning, with extensive extra-curricular activities,” she said.

Jonathan Taylor, chief executive of the trust, said the organisation had worked with Norfolk County Council to ensure the new school was best-placed to alleviate pressure on school places.

“We are delighted to be able to support our community by providing much-needed primary places in the local area,” he said.

“It is our intention that pupils will be given priority status in the admissions policy for the college, so that pupils attending Wymondham College Prep School will be able to progress into Wymondham College for their secondary education.

“We are justifiably proud of the world-class education at Wymondham College and this gives us the opportunity to extend the provision we have on site to primary age students.

“It represents a significant and exciting development for our community.”

Mr Taylor added that the school may consider taking year five day and boarding pupils when it opens, depending on demand.

Wymondham College Prep School was approved by the Department for Education in March 2017 in wave 12 of the free school applications process.

A series of events for potential parents, carers and children are planned for the summer term. Expressions of interest for a reception or a year five place for September 2020 can now be made to enquiries@wymcolprep.org.

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