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New Eccles Hall School in Quidenham renamed Aurora Eccles School after being bought by new owners

PUBLISHED: 13:12 12 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:31 12 June 2017

The newly renamed Aurora Eccles School headteacher Rob Thornton with pupils from left to right, Freya, Reuben, Cohen and George. Picture: Aurora Group

The newly renamed Aurora Eccles School headteacher Rob Thornton with pupils from left to right, Freya, Reuben, Cohen and George. Picture: Aurora Group

Archant

An independent school in Norfolk for children with language and communication difficulties is to be renamed after being bought by new owners.

New Eccles Hall School, in Quidenham, near Diss, will be renamed the Aurora Eccles School after it was taken over by The Aurora Group.

The school, which opened in 1945 and had been run by the Simington family since 1957, was officially bought in March.

It educates more than 120 pupils aged seven to 18 who have struggled in mainstream schooling.

Stephen Bradshaw, chief executive of the Wiltshire-basd Aurora Group, said: “This deal secures the financial future of Aurora Eccles School and ensures that all the current pupils can benefit from the significant upgrade we are undertaking at a school that they love.

“I want to thank all the New Eccles Hall staff for everything they have done to develop the school to the point at which it is at today.

“We are proud to welcome New Eccles Hall to the Aurora family of schools and as such we will adapt the name to fit with the rest of the group – the new name Aurora Eccles has been very well received by the pupils, parents and staff.”

He said there were plans in the pipeline to redevelop the school.

MORE: 900-year-old Thetford Grammar School to be bought by overseas investors to ease stretched budget

Sean Simington, former owner, said: “After 50 years of developing the school, educating and caring for pupils and young adults the time for us to transfer ownership of the school has now come.

“We are very confident in placing New Eccles Hall School into the experienced hands of the Aurora Group and wish them every success for the future with this rewarding work. We are sure that under their leadership and direction the school will go from strength to strength and benefit current and future pupils for generations to come.”

Last September, Ofsted inspectors found that the school required improvement after not meeting five national minimum standards for residential special schools.

A monitoring report published in March found that the five had since been met, though an extra three were not.

• Do you have an education story for us? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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