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Parents and children march in protest against proposed Great Yarmouth school merger

PUBLISHED: 19:35 07 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:35 08 October 2017

Parents and children objecting to the proposed merger of Trafalgar College and Great Yarmouth Charter Academy took to the streets in protest on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Paul Smith

Parents and children objecting to the proposed merger of Trafalgar College and Great Yarmouth Charter Academy took to the streets in protest on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Paul Smith

Archant

Parents and children objecting to the proposed merger between two Great Yarmouth schools have taken to the streets in protest.

Parents and children objecting to the proposed merger of Trafalgar College and Great Yarmouth Charter Academy took to the streets in protest on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Paul Smith Parents and children objecting to the proposed merger of Trafalgar College and Great Yarmouth Charter Academy took to the streets in protest on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Paul Smith

The plans in question concern Trafalgar College and Great Yarmouth Charter Academy, which are both run by the Inspiration Trust. A merger would see pupils at Trafalgar relocate to Charter Academy’s Salisbury Road site.

However, many parents say their children are happy at Trafalgar, and do not want the school to lose its identity.

This was the second consecutive weekend in which disgruntled community members have marched through the town to express disapproval of a merger. Last weekend, local people turned out in their masses to oppose Norfolk County Council’s proposal to close Alderman Swindell Primary and move it onto the North Denes Primary site.

Having been inspired by the Alderman Swindell protest, Trafalgar parents came together to organise their own march which took place on Saturday (October 7) afternoon.

Parents and children objecting to the proposed merger of Trafalgar College and Great Yarmouth Charter Academy took to the streets in protest on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Paul Smith Parents and children objecting to the proposed merger of Trafalgar College and Great Yarmouth Charter Academy took to the streets in protest on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Paul Smith

Louise Alderman, who chairs the Parents, Teachers and Friends Association (PTFA) at Trafalgar, said: “We’re really pleased with how the march went and I think people understand the issues a lot better now.

“The PTFA is putting together an objecting document which we’ll send to the Inspiration Trust as part of the consultation.”

Fellow organiser Paul Smith, whose daughter attends Trafalgar, added: “The march went really well and we raised plenty of awareness.

“A one-off protest can easily be forgotten, but this one being held off the Alderman Swindell march has really got the town talking.”

Any merger would result in building works at the Charter Academy site to accommodate 1,500 students.

The Inspiration Trust has said the time was right to assess secondary provision in the town.

James Goffin, spokesman for the Inspiration Trust, said: “We’re very proud of what has been achieved at Trafalgar College, but the hard truth is that the pupil population has grown much more slowly than originally predicted.

“If we didn’t make changes we would be heading for around 1300 spare secondary school places in the Great Yarmouth area.”

To find out more, or have your say on the plans before the consultation closes on October 15, click here.

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