" Forward Together "



Latest News

Links and Documents

Contact Us




Main Menu



Latest News

Contact Us





Click here to view a pdf timeline


Until recently, the town of Thetford in Norfolk was served by two secondary schools (Rosemary Musker High School and Charles Burrell Humanities School) for students aged between 11-18.


Generally each school has reliably served the North and South communities of Thetford respectively.

However, in June 2010, proposals were rushed through to create an Academy in Thetford, which would combine the two high schools, along with a new third element "The Forum" at the centre of the town.

Behind the scenes, the Moving Thetford Learning Group had been planning a new education system for Thetford since November 2008.  (Read the full details here).


The Proposed Thetford Academy.pdf (12.5Mb)


Although official feasibility studies had been carried out since March 2010, less than one month (June 2010) was set aside for public consultation.  The Academy was immediately approved by the Local and National Governments and the two schools combined to become Thetford Academy, although teaching would still be carried out at the same schools with the same pupils.

Very few people actually voted for the Academy.  The results are shown here.

The Academy began in September 2010 with a new Principal Designate.  Mrs Christine Carey was awarded the 115,000+ post.

Money was spent re-painting the schools in bright colours, strict new uniforms that were excessively hot during the Summer and a brand new website was commissioned, although it still has some way to go (unless it is being ironic).



In September, no funding was as yet forthcoming to allow the expansion of the Academy.

All was going as could be expected until rumours began circulating around the Academy that it was going to be split into two separate schools under the same name.  The plans were finally outlined as follows...


Second Proposal.pdf

25th November 2010


Despite no formal funding for the Academy in its original form, Mrs Carey and her entourage have decided that the pupils want to "join hands across Thetford" and must be given what they desire.

The Second Proposal is to split the Academy back into 2 "schools", one for years 7-9 and the other for 14-19 year olds.  (They can't even decide on a standard age description).

Apparently, this has the backing of the main sponsors (the Principal of Wymondham College), the Local Authorities and the Heads of Local Primary Schools.  Good then.  What about the parents who will have to put up with this?

The School Senate is made up primarily of "Year 11" students who will not be affected by the planned changes to the Academy.

Following recent reports of Thetford primary schools being below National standards, maybe their Head Teachers should spend more time looking after their own schools...


The Problem:

Thetford is an old, small town.  A by-pass was needed for traffic to avoid driving through the centre.

Having two schools catering for different age groups at either ends of the town, will mean pupils travelling from one half of the town to the other, whilst other pupils are travelling in the opposite direction, creating congestion and increasing journey times.

Parents with children attending both schools will now have to travel to the both sides of town to drop-off their children, increasing their journey times.

Pupils with parents who cannot drive must be able to make their own way across town to their school.

If this proposal goes ahead then it won't be long before the first "Carey casualties" are created.

The Academy has not yet demonstrated that it is capable of fulfilling its first promises before it has ideas of grandeur.

Again, there has been no time for public consultation.  The first public meeting in December 2010 to discuss the proposal was re-scheduled at the last minute.



What background/qualifications does Mrs Carey have for running an Academy?

Why, when asked by a parent to explain the reason for becoming an Academy, did she answer "money"?

Why is the Principal of an out of town boarding school Chairman to the Board of Governors?

What highway plans have been put in place for the town centre by the local council to cope with the additional traffic caused by splitting the Academy and the additional 6,500 homes planned in the regeneration of Thetford?


The Solution:

This website has the following aims:

- Create a focus for parents to voice their opposition to the scheme.

- Lobby Councillors to oppose the above scheme.

- Immediately stop the plans to split the Academy into two schools.

- Remove Mrs Carey from the post of Principal.

- Elect a partisan parent either onto the Board of Governors or Local Council.


In January 2011, a self-run student protest took place outside of the former Rosemary Musker High School despite some teachers telling the students not to do so.  This was reported in the local TV news and local press

Play in Windows Media Player or Download the file to your mobile


This website was set-up following the arrogant comments made by the Principal regarding the students actions.  Her "you've had your protest, now do what we say" attitude was not one I liked.

Since January, there have been numerous meetings, online campaigns and petitions to stop the school mergers taking place.

No local, regional or national government department was able or willing to step in to stop the proposed changes to our children's education.  The standard response was that "the Academy is now an independent entity and as such was answerable only to itself".


However, parent power or simply just incompetence on the part of the Governors has meant that plans to move up to 400 pupils across town each day was cancelled when plans to purchase a green-field site were abandoned.  Plans were announced at the same time that pupils would be combined at the former Rosemary High School in 2013, but would remain at their existing schools until then.  Read the notice here.


In April 2011, Principal Carey resigned from her post of less than a year, stating health reasons for her decision.  Read her resignation here.


In June, Wymondham College withdrew from being Lead Sponsor of the Academy, handing over the baton to a local agricultural college, after an independent review found that the College was failing in its duties.

Later that month, at the re-launch of the Academy Website, acting principal Cathy Spillane was confirmed as permanent principal of the Academy.


An Oftsed inspection in early 2012 was critical of the Academies teaching and gave a warning that if improvements weren't made then radical steps would be taken.


It was perhaps inevitable that planning permission was approved by Norfolk County Council in March 2012 for an extension to the north campus for a single site academy.  The Academy had already announced dates for the transition.  Everyone took it as a foregone conclusion.

Despite having no overall control of the independently run Academy, NCC chose to ignore all of the warning signs and allow the construction to go ahead.  However, the approved Travel Plan was blatantly inadequate.

Having had the Travel Plan approved (including how children would cycle and use the existing public transport system), Thetford Academy then announced a new biking scheme and that it would have to subsidise the woeful existing bus service.


It has come to light through official documents, such as the latest Ofsted report,  that many teachers and staff have decided to leave the Academy over the last few years.


In March 2013, an Ofsted inspection found that the Academy was significantly failing in its teaching.  The Academy has been placed into special measures.  Recommendations made in 2012 have not been followed up.  Teaching standards are unacceptable and ultimate responsibility for the failure is down to the Directors of the Learning Thetford Trust and the Governors of the Academy.


To be continued...


<Back to Top>





  09-06-11 - Timeline added.

11-04-11 - Background updated.

Expression Web Templates

 This website is not in any way connected to Thetford Academy and does not reflect the views of the Academy in any way.

Copyright 2013 thetford-academy.com. All Rights Reserved.