A pair of teachers are looking to rebuild their school's links with the community following more than two years of disruption.

Sally Hirst and Laura Marshall-Smith have been appointed as community and engagement leads at Fakenham Academy for the new term.

As part of the role, they will look to signpost students to opportunities both in and out of the classroom.

Just last month, Fakenham police officer Richard Dawson said there existed a feeling within the community that young people had "nothing to do".

Jonathan Taylor, CEO of Sapientia Education Trust, which runs Fakenham Academy, has high hopes for the community and engagement leads.

He pointed to the success of other schools after similar roles were created.

Mrs Marshall-Smith and Mrs Hirst are heads of social science and geography respectively at Fakenham Academy.

The latter believes the town offers an abundance of opportunities for young people, and is determined to ensure they know how to access them.

She added: “There's a huge amount of hard work going on in Fakenham that students can benefit from: The Gallow's sports facilities; sports clubs at the leisure centre; an archery club at the racecourse; a boxing club; a canoe club, and many others.

“Lots of schools suffered during Covid, with clubs having to be shut down.

"With the students returning full-time last year, the school re-established its enrichment offer. This year the school leadership team wants to take this a step further with more trips and speakers, in addition to current activities."

Mr Taylor added: “We believe that a school should be at the heart of the local community.

"Following the challenges of the pandemic, we intend to further strengthen the school’s engagement with the wider community.”

Mrs Marshall-Smith and Mrs Hirst believe their new roles are central to improving students' prospects.

“I care about the school and the students in it,” added Mrs Hirst.

"I am very proud of the efforts the school has made since the full-time return of students, and I know this initiative will have a positive impact on the students' education."

Fakenham Academy's new academic year will begin with an 'opportunities fair' on September 12 during school hours.