Norwich Weather



max temp: 16°C

min temp: 14°C

Simon Wright MP defends support for controversial moves to make Cavell Primary an academy

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:14 22 March 2014

Simon Wright MP, chats with one of the campaign organisers, Tina Boulter, front, as concerned parents campaign to stop Cavell Primary school becoming an academy. Picture: Denise Bradley

Simon Wright MP, chats with one of the campaign organisers, Tina Boulter, front, as concerned parents campaign to stop Cavell Primary school becoming an academy. Picture: Denise Bradley


An MP has defended his decision to back controversial moves to turn a primary school into an academy, despite Ofsted saying it has improved and no longer requires special measures.

The future of Cavell Primary School, in Duckett Close, Norwich, has been at the centre of a bitter row since Norfolk County Council said it should become an academy after Ofsted said it was “inadequate” after an inspection last March.

The school’s governors, who preferred the alternative option of joining a co-operative learning trust with other nearby schools, were removed and replaced by an interim executive board (IEB).

The board last month opted for the academy option, despite a new Ofsted inspection improving the school’s rating to “requires improvement”, and taking it out of special measures.

Conservative, Labour and Green party representatives have signed an open letter calling on Norfolk County Council, the school’s interim governors and the Department for Education to stop the academy process.

The letter said: “The school had its own strong plan for improvement, which was approved by Ofsted as fit for purpose.

“More than that, in the most recent inspection, which took the school out of special measures, Ofsted has also recognised the school’s excellent progress despite the ongoing distraction of political interference in its governance.

“To attempt to force the school to become an academy now is to put blinkered dogma ahead of common sense.”

It was signed by former Conservative group leader on Norwich City Council Antony Little, Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Norwich South Clive Lewis, and Green Party county councillor Richard Bearman.

Liberal Democrat MP Simon Wright, whose Norwich South constituency includes Cavell Primary School, declined to sign the letter.

He said: “I think the IEB has had a chance to review the evidence for several months and has been able to look at all aspects of the school and what is going to be best, and having gone through the evidence it has come up with a conclusion which it believes will sustain the continued improvement of the school.”

Parents running the Save Cavell campaign against the school becoming an academy said the change did not respect the will of the local community.

Mr Wright said: “I think it’s very difficult to assess democratically. The democratic body in this case is Norfolk County Council, and it instigated the IEB process.”

Rob Anthony, former Cavell chairman of governors, said the co-operative learning trust is seeking an opinion from a barrister about its planned legal challenge to the academisation process, and expects to file papers for a High Court challenge in the next two weeks.

Should Cavell Primary School become an academy? Write, with full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.


  • Unbelievable! The LibDum is against The Tories, Labour and the Greens here. Still, I expect he'll be looking for another job come 2015. Don't give up your day job Simon...whatever that is! LoL

    Report this comment

    marty r

    Saturday, March 22, 2014

  • Let this be a lesson for anyone who thinks voting Liberal is a worthwhile vote. No principles. Will jump in bed with whoever looks like winning. Avoid at your peril.

    Report this comment


    Sunday, March 23, 2014

  • Typical Liberal Demo who has no principles and can't stick to an earlier commitment to support Cavell......has to follow a party line yet academisation is failing.....never mind Simon u r only gambling with our children's futures!!

    Report this comment


    Saturday, March 22, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists