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Legal challenge to Yarmouth schools’ merger in High Court today

PUBLISHED: 10:08 17 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:49 17 July 2018

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

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Campaigners will find out today if their legal challenge over the merger of two Great Yarmouth high schools will succeed in the High Court.

A previous protest outside Trafalgar College. Picture: Anthony CarrollA previous protest outside Trafalgar College. Picture: Anthony Carroll

The case against the Department of Education revolves around a bid to merge Trafalgar College and Great Yarmouth Charter Academy on the latter’s Salisbury Road site.

Both schools are part of the Inspiration Trust academy chain.

It has been launched by a parent from the school.

The merger proposal was revealed in September last year, just over a year after free school Trafalgar College opened, with the trust saying a forecasted growth in pupil numbers had not materialised.

MORE: Parents protest outside Trafalgar College over merger plans

It proved divisive with parents, with a campaign set up to challenge the move and concerns raised around the religious designation and stricter approach at Charter.

But in May it was confirmed that the plans had been given the official nod from the government and would be completed by September 2019.

Dan Rosenberg at Simpson Millar Solicitors, who is acting for the claimant, said today: “This is an important case for families in the town and we will see what the court’s view is.”

The case is listed for 10.30am as a “rolled up” judicial review.

It means if the court decides to allow a full challenge it will be heard immediately, with the judge making a decision quickly, but not necessarily on the day.

It is understood a number of families have travelled to London to attend the proceedings.

The two schools are some two miles apart.

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