Plans for new Norfolk school edge nearer

A school on the outskirts of Norwich is gearing up for an exciting new chapter after the search began for a company to build it a new �9.3m home.

Governors at Cringleford Primary School have long wanted to enlarge it from 210 to 420 places because so many homes are being built in the area.

They want the school, currently based in Cantley Lane, to move to a site within the Roundhouse Park housing development on the side of the A11.

Last April Norfolk County Council gave the go-ahead for the move and agreed to fund �4.8m of the scheme, with other contributions from housing developers and the school itself.

Hopes of getting the new school open for the summer term of 2013 has taken a leap forward after builders were invited to bid for the tender to construct the school.

The school, which caters for children aged four to 11, still needs to submit and obtain planning permission for the new building, which is likely to happen in May.

But Chris Smith, clerk of the governors at Cringleford School, said: 'We are hugely excited by the opportunity to relocate our school to a purpose-built school designed to meet the educational challenges of the 21st century with an opening targeted for the summer term of 2013.'

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The school is also looking for a new headteacher to help steer the school through the changes which lie ahead, with current head Gill Blake due to retire in August after 22 years at Cringleford.

Mr Smith said: 'After many years of dedicated service as our headteacher, Gill Blake will be retiring in the summer of 2011, so we are commencing the recruitment of a new headteacher to work with us during this transition period.'

Janet Murphy, deputy cabinet member for children's services at Norfolk County Council, said the council was supporting the governors and the Norwich Diocese in the project.

She said: 'This is an exciting project that will help to support Cringleford's growing community and we are thrilled to be working alongside the governors and diocese to help make these plans a reality.'

Andy Mash, director of education for the Norwich Diocese, said: 'The proposed new Church of England school at Cringleford will be the first church school to be built in the Norwich area of the diocese for over 30 years. This will be a school for the whole community. Current plans include provision for a community nursery, a caf�-style meeting area for parents and adult learners, and a dedicated quiet area and shared worship space.

'It will be a real 21st-century building with green credentials, and we're working closely with Norfolk County Council to turn the dream into reality.'

Do you have an education story? Call Evening News education reporter Steve Downes on 01263 513920 or email