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The Bishop of Thetford leads special ceremony to mark the merger of Harleston CE Primary Academy and Archbishop Sancroft High School





The Bishop of Thetford led a special ceremony this week to mark the long-awaited launch of Harleston’s new all-through school.

After months of planning, Harleston CE Primary Academy and Archbishop Sancroft High School merged into one this week, with the Rt Rev Alan Winton stopping by the town on Wednesday to mark the school’s official launch.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Winton said: “I was delighted to be asked to bless Harleston Sancroft Academy.

Rt Revd Alan Winton, Bishop of Thetford, was treated to cake during the opening ceremony. Picture: Jungle PR.
Rt Revd Alan Winton, Bishop of Thetford, was treated to cake during the opening ceremony. Picture: Jungle PR.

“It’s great to see two schools coming together in partnership and co-operation to strengthen what they can offer their students, ensuring they get the best possible start in life.

“My prayer is that this new academy will be a blessing to the children and young people, to all the staff and parents, and to the wider community in this lovely part of south Norfolk.”

The school will teach children aged three to 16, in a move the Diocese of Norwich St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust had been pushing for since taking over both schools.

The Bishop is joined by heateacher Robert Connelly (left) and St Benet's CEO Richard Cranmer (right). Picture: Jungle PR (59558108)
The Bishop is joined by heateacher Robert Connelly (left) and St Benet's CEO Richard Cranmer (right). Picture: Jungle PR (59558108)

A six-week consultation was held in September last year, with questionnaires and a public meeting, where parents and teachers put their support behind the launch of the amalgamated school.

Richard Cranmer, chief executive of St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust, said: “It has taken a lot of hard work from all our staff, particularly the leadership and business teams, to make Harleston Sancroft Academy come to life. I congratulate them all.

“We look forward to collaboratively working across the two phases – primary and secondary – for the benefit of our students.

“Harleston Sancroft Academy has an exciting new start and equally exciting future ahead for its children and staff.

“We have developed a leadership team that works across both phases, developing a shared approach to specific aspects of school life, with a clearly identifiable and shared vision for what we want our staff, children and their families to experience.”

Headteacher Robert Connelly said: “Becoming an all-through school represents a very significant milestone for this very special community.

“We have fantastic working relationships across both phases and we look forward to further enhancing our shared approach, ensuring and enabling every child and adult to thrive.”

Head of School Kirsten Parker added: “Although each stage in a child’s educational journey is unique, we are delighted that the creation of Harleston Sancroft Academy will enable us to work ever closer, ensuring that our students fulfil their potential to become happy, confident and capable members of society.”



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