National Secular Society states opposition to Great Yarmouth Charter Academy and Trafalgar College merger

PUBLISHED: 11:31 12 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:08 13 October 2017

There are proposals for a merger of Trafalgar College and Great Yarmouth Charter Academy. Picture: David Hannant/James Bass

There are proposals for a merger of Trafalgar College and Great Yarmouth Charter Academy. Picture: David Hannant/James Bass


The National Secular Society (NSS) has said it is against a merger of two schools in Great Yarmouth.

The society has written to the Inspiration Trust, the academy chain which runs Great Yarmouth Charter Academy and Trafalgar College, to express their opposition.

The Great Yarmouth Grammar School Foundation, which owns the land on the former High School site, is insisting any school on the site must have a formal Christian religious designation.

MORE: Inspiration Trust will take over Great Yarmouth High School when it becomes an academy

The society believes this equates to a non-religious school closing in order to expand a religious school.

Campaigns director at the NSS, Stephen Evans, said he was disappointed with the plans.

He added: “It’s really disappointing that yet again where there are school closures and mergers, religious schools are expanded at the expense of community schools.

“School reorganisations are always a matter on which there are strong opinions by all those involved, who would like the best outcome for pupils.

“The insistence on a religious ethos only makes these situations more difficult and divisive.

“At a time when religious adherence is rapidly diminishing it’s absurd to be expanding faith-based schooling.”

A separate bid by the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust to run Great Yarmouth Charter Academy was rejected last year.

Inspiration Trust spokesman James Goffin said: “As part of the proposed merger, Charter Academy’s existing Christian religious ethos will continue but we believe it is misleading to refer to it as a faith school.

MORE: Parents outraged over ‘army like’ schooling rule at new Great Yarmouth Charter Academy

“Children are not admitted on religious grounds, staff are not employed on religious grounds, and pupils learn about a range of religious and non-religious belief systems just as they do at schools across the country. Families also retain the right to opt out of religious education if they choose.

“These proposals are about ensuring schools in Great Yarmouth can offer the high quality teaching, sports, and cultural experiences that children deserve. The hard truth is that the pupil population has grown much more slowly than originally predicted and if we didn’t make changes we would be heading for around 1,300 spare secondary school places in the area.”

Other News

43 minutes ago

A man has appeared in court charged with wounding with intent after a stabbing incident at a YMCA housing complex.


The legal challenge against the closure of a Great Yarmouth school has come to a close - but campaigners have vowed to keep up the fight.

Thinking of splashing out on a new boat or wondering how to spend that £250,000 burning a hole in your pocket?

Parts of Norfolk and Suffolk could experience gale force winds tonight and tomorrow morning.

Most Read

Yesterday, 20:26

A care home in Great Yarmouth has been forced to close after watchdogs uncovered a catalogue of concerns.

Read more
Care Quality Commission
Mon, 15:48

A teacher is feeling a new woman and enjoying time with her children after she lost more than four stone in 26 weeks.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:50

A woman has been arrested on the suspicion of drug-driving and possession of a class A drug after the car she was believed to be driving crashed into a home in Gorleston.

Read more
Mon, 11:11

A decision to close a Great Yarmouth bridge due to reports that a child may have gone into a river has been criticized by a councillor.

Read more
Mick Castle
Mon, 16:15

Major roadworks at one of the main gateways into Great Yarmouth are due to end next week after four months of traffic disruption.

Read more
Norfolk County Council

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 1°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter