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Labour cabinet member breaks ranks with colleagues over plans to turn Cavell Primary School into an academy

PUBLISHED: 20:44 26 February 2014 | UPDATED: 20:57 26 February 2014

Sue Whitaker (Labour). Photo: Bill Darnell

Sue Whitaker (Labour). Photo: Bill Darnell

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A senior council cabinet member has called for a rethink of plans to force Cavell Primary to become into an academy, following today’s formal publication of a report which took it out of special measures.

Parents Mark Sayer, and Rachel Ward, with the petition parents have signed against the plans to turn Cavell Primary School into an academy. Picture: Denise BradleyParents Mark Sayer, and Rachel Ward, with the petition parents have signed against the plans to turn Cavell Primary School into an academy. Picture: Denise Bradley

The school, in Duckett Close, Lakenham, has been at the centre of a row over its future since the county council removed its governors, who wanted to form a co-operative trust with nearby schools, and pushed for it to become an academy after Ofsted branded it “inadequate” last May.

The school’s interim executive board last month decided to ask the secretary of state for education to invite the Right for Success Trust, which runs nearby Eaton Hall School, to sponsor the school as an academy.

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- Ofsted praises improvements at Cavell Primary School as campaigners fight moves to make it an academy

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- Video: Campaigners to fight on against Norwich’s school’s ‘forced’ academy conversion

- Cavell Primary School is out of special measures - but is it still headed for academy conversion?

Today’s re-inspection report upgraded the school’s rating to “requires improvement”, and said: “Senior leaders have been very successful in communicating their vision for school improvement to the whole staff. Leaders have secured improvements in teaching and achievement, and the school is well placed to continue to improve.”

Labour county councillor and cabinet member Sue Whitaker, who represents the area, called on her colleagues in the Labour-led coalition running County Hall to rethink support for academisation.

She said: “Personally I am not in favour of academies but I want to see the best thing for kids locally. I have been led to believe that once it’s not in special measures there’s no requirement to be an academy, in which case it should revert to having its own governing body and be left as it is.”

However, she said she had yet to talked to Labour schools cabinet member Mick Castle, or Labour council leader George Nobbs.

Cavell parent Rachel Ward this week wrote to Mr Nobbs calling for him to back the anti-academy campaign now the school was out of special measures.

Should Cavell Primary still become an academy? Email


  • Of course it shouldn't be but Norfolk CC live in terror of the DfE and Ofsted. Shame it had to be a Labour councillor to break ranks....Tories and Libs still too policy bound instead of doing what's right by children. Academy failures mount daily!!!

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    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • ....."the illegal implementation of ideological dogma against the wishes of the local community".....yeh, that was wot i woz finkin. Power to the people.

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    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • Well done Sue, but what's happened to our political leadership when it's "breaking ranks" to oppose the illegal implementation of ideological dogma against thewwishes of the local community?

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    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • How did Nobbs vote on Heartsease conversion to Academy?

    Report this comment

    No to tory boy

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • Well done Sue. We can always rely on you to do what is right, even when others are too feeble minded to make a stand. This community is glad of your support.

    Report this comment

    Carol Bolton

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

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