Fred Nicholson School expansion

Closed 9 May 2023

Opened 7 Mar 2023



On 27 July 2023, Sara Tough, in her role as LA Decision-Maker, made the school organisation determinations outlined below, following the statutory public notice period, in relation to Fred Nicholson School: 

  • Transfer Fred Nicholson School to Lynn Road, Swaffham, from 1 June 2025.
  • Close the boarding provision by 31 August 2023
  • Increase the capacity of the school by 52 pupils, served by the school as indicated from 1 September 2023

The approval for the transfer of the school to Swaffham is given subject to meeting a specific condition; planning permission approval is given by 31 March 2024.



It is proposed to increase the number of pupils with complex needs at Fred Nicholson School, Dereham from 173 to 225 pupils and to relocate the school to Lynn Road, Swaffham from 1 April 2025.

The Governors of Fred Nicholson School and Norfolk County Council are committed to expanding the successful provision, for the needs of the current pupils and to meet the demand for future pupils. Currently there is an increased need to provide places for children and young people with complex needs in this area of Norfolk.  This proposal will provide much needed specialist educational capacity and space to meet this increased need.

Unfortunately, the school building is in poor and ageing condition and we are looking to move to a new purpose built school building in Swaffham.  The new building will mean we can offer places to more young people with complex needs and extend our offer from Reception to 6th form.


What happens next

The Governors of Fred Nicholson School and Norfolk County Council will consider all the responses to this proposal and decide whether to continue to the statutory stage, where we issue a public notice.  The final decision is made by the Local Authority Decision-Maker; Sara Tough, Director of Children Services, Norfolk County Council. 



  • Virtual Consultation Event

    From 28 Mar 2023 at 18:00 to 28 Mar 2023 at 19:00

    Find out more about this proposal. If you would like to join this event, please contact Caroline Money for the joining details, by emailing


  • Dereham
  • Swaffham


  • Councillors MPs MEPs
  • General public
  • Parents and carers and guardians
  • Young people
  • Schools
  • Town and Parish Councils
  • District councils


  • Education and early years