Public Consultation Announced for Harleston All Through School

September 13, 2021

The Diocese of Norwich St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust has announced there will be a six-week public consultation on a proposal to amalgamate Harleston CE Primary Academy and Archbishop Sancroft High School into one All Through School, starting from Monday 13th September through to Friday 22nd October 2021.

Richard Cranmer, CEO of St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust, said: “The Federated Governing Body at Archbishop Sancroft High School (ASHS) and Harleston CE Primary Academy (HPA) has been very keen to encourage and develop further close working between the two academies.  This was first raised publicly during the consultation on becoming academies back in June 2017, when the then-separate governing bodies outlined their vision for the future.”

Richard Cranmer continued: “The governors of the primary and secondary schools have been actively considering the long-term sustainable future of education in the town.  Our ultimate joint aim is to create an All Through School, which will still operate across the two sites within the town.  Ensuring successful, sustainable education in market towns within rural areas is challenging.  We therefore believe that by closer working together, we can secure an exciting and successful future for all children from 3 to 16 years of age and strive to provide excellent working conditions and career opportunities for all staff.”

In January 2019, the governing bodies of ASHS and HPA took a significant step towards this vision by coming together to form a single governing body called The Harleston Federation that oversees the work of both academies today.

In July 2021 the Trust restructured the leadership team across the academies to reflect the Federation structure, including the appointment of one Executive Headteacher.  This was a key step in our journey towards an All Through School and the school improvement impact it brings.

Richard Cranmer said: “The St Benet’s Trust Board, with full support from the Diocese of Norwich, have asked that the two academies now start actively planning to become one All Through School, taking children from the age of three to 16 years and opening the new All Through School at the latest by September 2023.  It is our intention to achieve this by September 2022.”

Mr Rob Connelly, Executive Headteacher for the Harleston Federation said: “The Harleston Federation represents a very significant milestone for this very special community. I am delighted to have been appointed as the Executive Headteacher and look forward to continuing my work alongside the staff, students and families to ensure the very best school experience for all.”

He added: “The future of both schools and ultimately the formation of an All-Through School will be supported by ensuring exceptional staff provide the foundations and consistency required to experience ‘Life in all its fullness’.”

The full consultation paper is available as a pdf download at the bottom of this article.

There will be meetings for parents/carers and other interested members of the community on the following date (please register your attendance in advance via

  • Tuesday 19 October 2021 at 2.15-3.15pm at Harleston Primary Academy
  • Tuesday 19 October 2021 at 5.00-6.00pm at Archbishop Sancroft High School

In addition, interested parties can share their views by completing the online survey via this link:

Responses should be submitted by 4.00pm on Friday 22nd October 2021.



Editor’s Notes

More than a quarter of all young people in the area attend Diocesan schools.  There are 110 schools in the Diocese family, of which 36 are DNEAT academies and a further eight with St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust. All Diocese schools and Academies are united in their approach which is rooted in Christian values and mutual support.


DNEAT Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust

Currently there are 36 academies within DNEAT. From March 2020, Ofsted ratings were 84% good or better.


St Benet’s Multi-Academy Trust 

Currently, there are eight academies in St Benet’s. Schools which are located in Dickleburgh, Diss, Garboldisham, Long Stratton, Harleston and Newton Flotman.



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