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Swaffham's catholic school set to close after summer term

With a Catholic school due to close down in Swaffham later this year, people have been advised to provide views on the possibility of a new primary school at the site.

Sacred Heart School on Mangate Street is expected to close at the end of the summer term in July.

The school, which appeared on Channel 5 series Bad Habits, Holy Orders, was unable to raise enough funds following a campaign for financial support.

However, the potential for a replacement non-fee paying Catholic primary school has arisen.

Norfolk County Council will have the final say over the decision to introduce a new school, but Sacred Heart will be holding drop-in sessions to gather opinion from members of the public.

The school will also be holding an open day on Saturday, February 9 between 10am and noon in which people can visit the site to see what kind of facilities will be on offer for the new school.

Sacred Heart school sisters
Sacred Heart school sisters

Two drop-in sessions will take place at the school on Thursday, January 17 from 3.30pm to 5pm and Wednesday, February 6 from 6.30pm to 8pm.

Views can also be expressed via an online form and printed consultation booklet.

The final date for submitting views is Friday, February 15.

A consultation for the new school was launched by the Diocese of East Anglia which supports a total of 27 schools across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Pupils from the age of three to 16 attend Sacred Heart, which was set up more than 100 years ago.

The history of the school is traced back to 1912 when the parish priest of Swaffham approached a congregation in Vienna in order to found a Convent in the town.

After a Convent was set up on Providence Terrace, Sacred Heart school moved to its present site in 1920. By 1955, 266 pupils attended the school, a sharp increase from 50 in 1924. It now has 162 pupils across its nursery, lower and senior schools.

Angie Hastings, a member of staff at the school, said: “I personally have watched children flourish here and become happy, make friendships and embrace the ethos of the school.”

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