Fred Nicholson School Boarding Provision

Closed 6 Jun 2023

Opened 18 Apr 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.


Norfolk County Council is consulting on a proposal to close the boarding provision at Fred Nicholson School, Dereham, from 31 August 2023.

Fred Nicholson has not been able to offer any of its potential 26 boarding spaces for the last 7 weeks.

There are currently 6 full time staffing vacancies including the Manager and Deputy Manager role. In accordance with statutory regulations Governors had to temporarily suspend this provision on 10th February 2023 at which time it was attended by 18 pupils.

If this proposal to close the boarding provision is agreed, we plan to bring forward the increase of pupil places, currently being consulted on, as part of the plans to relocate Fred Nicholson School to a site in Swaffham.  This would not be an increase of all the pupil places in one term, but phased over several terms, so the school gradually grows.  The space currently reserved for boarding would be repurposed and made available to create additional teaching and learning space for the additional pupils, from 1 September 2023. 


What happens next

 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 2 May 2023 at 18:00 to 2 May 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