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Paston and City College merger plans

Paston Sixth Forma and Norwich City College are in discussions on closer working to widen choice of courses available in North Norfolk.

The proposal for a merger between the two colleges is a recommendation arising from the Area Review of Post-16 Education and Training in Norfolk and Suffolk, which has been led by the FE commissioner, Richard Atkins.

The aim is to provide young people in North Norfolk with a greater choice of courses at 16, with less distance to travel to access these opportunities.

The colleges, both of which have recent ‘Good’ ratings from Ofsted, will begin a public consultation in June working towards a merger. The final decisiowill rest with the governing bodies of each college. If given the go ahead, a new partnership between the two colleges could be in place by December 2017.

A joint statement from Paston Sixth Form College and City College Norwich, said: “We are exploring opportunities for a potential merger, in order to increase and enhance the choice and breadth of A-level, further education, apprenticeships and degree level courses.

Our objective is to better serve the needs and aspirations of young people and ensure a skilled, local workforce for both emerging and established industries and in the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership priority sectors. Our approach has been to look at where we can complement existing strengths, and enhance provision, particularly where there are identified gaps.

“Students, parents and staff in both institutions can rest assured that each college remains committed to maintaining and developing our recognised strengths and distinct specialisms.”

Employers encouraged to shape next generation in North Norfolk

Employers will be given the opportunity to help youngsters increase their understanding of the world of work via a series of events organised by North Norfolk District Council.

Held in partnership with the New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network, they will crteate an opportunity for employers to meet staff from the district’s schools and colleges.

The events – which are free – will explain to businesses how to become an Enterprise Adviser, promote and highlight the benefits for businesses that work with young people, and build on the skills and enthusiasm of North Norfolk’s young people.

Businesses that want to find out how to prepare and shape the next generation of employees and entrepreneurs can book a place and then head along to The Atrium in North Walsham tomorrow (April 25), Cromer Academy on Wednesday (April 26) or Fakenham Academy on Thursday (April 27). All three events are at 4.30pm-6pm, and refreshments will be provided.

There will be the opportunity to network with businesses that are already working with schools in North Norfolk, and learn about the activities that businesses can deliver. These range from work experience and workplace visits – which will suit larger businesses – to mock interviews, mentoring and talks, which any business can offer, including small businesses and the self-employed.

Enterprise Advisers are volunteers who use their strategic knowledge and experience to help senior staff in schools draw up a careers delivery plan for students aged 11-18.

To find out more or to book a place, please contact the Economic Growth Team at economic.growth@north-norfolk.gov.uk or on 01263 5166009.

New head for North Walsham school

St Nicholas House Prep School in North Walsham has welcomed a new head to take the school into the future.

Philip Oldroyd has taken over the helm of the independent school and is “looking forward to leading St Nicholas House into its next exciting phase of growth and development”. The appointment comes after headmaster Martin Castle decided to leave his position to enable the school to move forward to the next phase of its life.

Philip lives in Horstead with his wife, Niki and two sons, Dan (17) and Tom (19). The family moved to Norfolk from Sevenoaks, in Kent, six years ago to be closer to Niki’s parents. Philip is a graduate of Leeds University with a BA in PE and business studies and gained his PGCE from the University of Surrey.

His career in education has spanned 28 years, 10 of which as a head eacher. He successfully led Sevenoaks Prep, a co-educational school for children from nursery to Year 8, for seven years and more recently, was headmaster of Langley Prep School. Under his leadership both schools flourished, growing in both numbers and reputation.

Currently, Philip is head of the lower school at Langley, in Loddon, where he has the responsibility for both the pastoral and academic education of the children in Years 6 to 9.

Outside of school, Philip enjoys sports coaching and spectating, having “hung up his boots” a few years ago.  He has coached at both Sevenoaks and North Walsham Rugby Clubs for the past 12 years and cricket for Otford CC until his move to Norfolk.

“I am very excited to be joining such a fantastic school,” he said. “The children clearly benefit from being members of a small community and the family feel of the school is evident Small class sizes allow for more individual attention from well qualified staff who spend quality time with every child.”

There’s a chance to meet the new head at the school’s open day on Saturday, March 18.

Will elected as first student president

A 14-year-old student from North Walsham has followed Donald Trump to be inaugurated President after a close-fought election campaign – and he will now represent the town’s high school students for the next year.

Year 9 student Will Symonds became the first student president of North Walsham High School this week in an election which saw every student at the school cast a vote.  Following his inauguration, he has appointed a vice-president – Megan Robson – and a cabinet, which will work with the school’s senior leadership team.

Cabinet portfolios include teaching and learning; behaviour, welfare and safety; outcomes; special educational needs and disability (SEND), curriculum and business.  President Symonds has also appointed a special anti-bullying task force.

He styled himself ‘The Asian Guy’ during his election campaign, and in hustings speeches in front of his fellow students he tried to inject an element of fun into the process to engage with his electorate.

NWHS head teacher Neil Powell commented: “I am delighted at the extent to which students really engaged with the process of electing a student president, the first time we have held such an election.  I look forward to working with Will and his team to continue the whole school improvement with a strong student voice.”

 

North Walsham High and Paston College in multi-academy plans

Paston Sixth Form College and North Walsham High School have announced that they are working together on a proposal to create a multi-academy trust (MAT) with East Norfolk College in Gorleston and Flegg High in Martham.

The four institutions will be going through detailed discussions and planning before submitting a proposal to the Department for Education. Once this proposal is accepted, there will be a formal period of consultation by each school. It is hoped that the proposed MAT will be in operation for the beginning of the 2016/17 academic year.

Paston College and East Norfolk College have already announced they are in discussions about a proposed merger. Now the colleges and schools have been in discussion about raising standards through GCSE level to A-levels, as well as vocational qualifications.

The education leaders and governors of all four feel that close collaboration will offer parents and local employers a high quality option to develop the skills needed in the future.

Whilst the exact details of the structure of the new MAT has not been finalised, it is envisaged that each college and school will retain a board of local governors to ensure local accountability.

North Walsham High chair of governors at Alex Robinson said: “The governors at North Walsham High School have spent the last three months looking in detail at the options for partnerships with other providers which will benefit our students. The scale and influence of Paston College and East Norfolk, which both offer high quality teaching in many subjects, will inspire students and staff and create a sustainable local solution for our community.”

Kevin Grieve, principal at Paston College, said: “Together we all share an ambition to accelerate improvements in education using local expertise. We hope to work with like-minded colleagues and extend the proposed trust to include primary schools and more high schools. Most schools need to find economies of scale whilst keeping close to their communities. Our plans will do just that.”

The new North Walsham High School student leadership team