In 2010 the Government announced plans to build new free schools around the country.
Free schools are government funded ‘all ability’ schools but they are not run by local councils. So far more than 400 free schools have opened or been approved, and the Government’s 2015 manifesto pledged to open 500 nationally by 2020. Further announcements regarding free schools were made in the March 2017 budget stating a commitment to open another 140 free schools.
Currently free schools are new state schools that are comprehensive (they do not select on ability and must be open to pupils of all backgrounds and faiths), free to attend, accountable and autonomous (established as academies, independent of local authorities).
In October 2016 the Bishop of Norwich, The Rt Revd Graham James, sought opinions from across the Diocese on whether it should seek to open new schools, to which the overwhelming view was "yes".
Norfolk County Council have announced the locations of new free schools to be built in Norfolk and therefore the Diocese is looking to bid to become a 'sponsor' of new planned schools in Attleborough, North Runcton (Kings Lynn) and Wymondham.
We need your help
As part of the application process, the Diocese needs to demonstrate support for its plans and show that local residents and families would want their children to go to a Diocesan 'sponsored' school if one was available.
Any new school will operate as our current schools and academies do – they serve their local community and are for those of all faiths or none.
The level of local support will be a key factor that the Department for Education will be looking at in deciding whether to approve the Diocese's bid or not, and we need to be able to show this support when we submit our application.
Show your support
If you agree with us that the Church should be involved in education, please express your support now by signing the form for the area you live in or is nearest to you: