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Three Thetford primary academies to transfer to a new sponsor to ‘secure continued progress’

Ian Cleland of the Academy Transformation Trust talking to students at Hamond's High School. Picture: Ian Burt

Ian Cleland of the Academy Transformation Trust talking to students at Hamond's High School. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

Three primary academies in Thetford will be transferred to a new sponsor, it has been revealed.

Lee Francis, new principal of the Diamond Academy in Thetford. Photo: Bill SmithLee Francis, new principal of the Diamond Academy in Thetford. Photo: Bill Smith

Admirals Academy, Diamond Academy and Norwich Road Academy are currently sponsored by the Birmingham-based Academy Transformation Trust (ATT).

But ATT has today confirmed the three schools will be transferred to a new sponsor to “secure continued progress and attainment for pupils”.

The trust says the move should increase resources available to the academies, accelerating improvement.

The decision was reached after discussions with the Department for Education, ATT said.

A new sponsor has not yet been announced, though the Inspiration Trust, which runs Thetford Academy, confirmed they will not be taking the schools on.

Ian Cleland, chief executive at ATT, said: “The trust is proud to have worked with the Thetford academies and to have contributed to the real improvements made that were highlighted in their Ofsted reports.

“I would like to thank the principals, teachers and support staff for their dedication and efforts.

“We are committed to ensuring that the education of all our pupils continues to be the highest priority during this time.”

Further details will be announced “as discussions progress”, ATT said.

Mike Brindle, a Thetford Town Councillor, said the news was “disappointing”.

“ATT came in with high expectations of raising standards at the schools,” he said.

“It will understandably cause concerns for parents over what the standards are likely to be and the disruption ahead.”

In May last year, South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss called for “rapid improvement” at Diamond and Admirals Academies.

It came a year after the schools were issued with government warning notices over low performance.

Both Diamond and Norwich Road schools are rated as requiring improvement by Ofsted, while Admirals received a good rating in June 2014.

• Are you affected by the changes? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

3 comments

  • This seems to be the tip of an iceberg which has only had minimal impact in Norfolk so far. There is a secondary market in horse trading schools to other trusts when the funds get low. Super!

    Report this comment

    TheTruth

    Thursday, January 19, 2017

  • Ans higher pay for the leadership team no doubt at the expense of cheaper NQTs....

    Report this comment

    Ivor

    Wednesday, January 18, 2017

  • So new letter heading, new signs, new badges, new uniforms all costing money. Any chance of money being spent on education? No. Probably not. Any chance of education improving for these children? No, probably not. Any chance of anyone admitting that education is useless under this and the previous administration? Not a chance.

    Report this comment

    Davidbrian552

    Wednesday, January 18, 2017

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