Opponents ‘massively disappointed, but not surprised’ as Education Secretary Michael Gove makes academy order for Cavell Primary School

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 Bradley 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 Bradley

Mark Shields
Friday, March 14, 2014
11:16 AM

The controversial academisation of a Norfolk school has moved a step closer after education secretary Michael Gove issued an academy order.

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Cavell Primary School will be fast-tracked in the process so that it can be opened as an academy on July 1, said the minister in a letter sent to parents yesterday. However, long-standing opponents of the process have accused him of trying to “ram through” the change against the will of parents, and say the conversion has no legal basis as the Duckett Close school is no longer in special measures.

David Lennard Jones, chairman of the school’s interim executive board (IEB), wrote to parents yesterday to tell them of the partnership with the Right for Success trust.

“Moving into the future with Right for Success will bring a wide range of support that comes from Eaton Hall’s experience as an outstanding school,” he wrote, adding that during the transition, “everyone will be keeping a sharp focus on improving the attainment of all the children that they work with, both through the school and through the children’s centre”. The school 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 governors were replaced with the IEB, which last month decided the school should become a sponsored academy, though Ofsted inspectors took the school out of special measures following a visit on January 29, upgrading it to “requires improvement”. Members of the Save Cavell campaign say that its removal from special measures means the IEB no longer has the power to order the conversion, and it is understood steps have been taken towards a judicial review.

Rachel Ward, a spokesman for the Save Cavell campaign, said: “We are massively disappointed, but not surprised, that the Department for Education have ignored the clearly stated wishes of parents and staff, and the judgment of Ofsted that the school is ‘well placed to continue to improve’.”

Mrs Ward said the campaign would continue to oppose the conversion during the consultation period.

She added: “We call upon the DfE and Norfolk County Council to undertake this consultation honestly and – in contrast to all their actions to date – to listen to concerns arising from the process and act on them to halt this unnecessary and undemocratic, politically-motivated intervention.”

What do you think of Cavell’s conversion to an academy? Write, with your full details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

Federations could help small schools – Page 17

11 comments

  • Call a meeting of the public Lets set up a group to fight this undemocratic decision. I am happy to commit a 100per cent to opposing them

    Report this comment

    No to tory boy

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Would you want to work for an employer who is going to blame you for their failing business? Then your employment will be terminated. What is it that becoming an academy actually achieves? Why can this successful formula not be shared now with all schools that are failing? Simply because there is no formula, the govt simply want to wash its own hands of the mess it has produced previously, don' t forget the academy programme was invented by Labour and continued by the Condems. Good teachers make good schools, teachers treated with respect by everybody, parents, children, communities and officialdom.

    Report this comment

    Stuart Blunden

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • Call a meeting of the public Lets set up a group to fight this undemocratic decision. I am happy to commit a 100per cent to opposing them

    Report this comment

    No to tory boy

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Norfolk County Council has a lot to answer with a increasing number of schools failing in Norfolk. Even more worrying is who is actually part of Right for Success and what is their record? A check on google comes up with some interesting names who are good at self promotion but whose record shows they lack integrity. I fear no-one really cares what parents and staff think but I applaud those parents who have at least tried. Do any of us know who is behind these academies and what kind of cut are they getting? Perhaps EDP can enlighten us all !!

    Report this comment

    namaste

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Gove won't stop at anything. With all respect to those involved, he's in London and has no interest in local democracy in Norwich, as he steamrollers his centralisation of schools through.

    Report this comment

    Johnboy

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Right off Success turned up at Stalham Junior this week. The only bit of innovation was to tell the parents that they were changing the school badge for a new iron-on logo! Best of luck to everyone at Cavell.

    Report this comment

    Ghost

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Gove is desperate to get his academy Prog thro irrespective of local a wishes or whether it is successful or not. So much for democracy that Tories above everyone else always claim they battle to preserve......obviously not so when it doesn't fit their political agenda.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • ......"Teachers do not want to work for academy chains!".....ahhh, the actual truth behind the campaign suddenly pops up......I just wonder if the main campaigner Rachel Ward is a teacher herself?

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • "Would you want to work for an employer who is going to blame you for their failing business?"....Hi Stuart, the short answer is yes as long as he kept paying me. Unfortunately schools are moving away from the comfy world of moderate schools being monitored moderately by sleepy councils. This has allowed many schools to settle into a sort of smug complacency. I agree that good teachers make good schools, and academies be free to 'compete' for the best teachers with good salaries and good conditions of employment. This will lead to teachers with excellent teaching skills and work ethic receiving much higher salaries.

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • Call a meeting of the public Lets set up a group to fight this undemocratic decision. I am happy to commit a 100per cent to opposing them

    Report this comment

    No to tory boy

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • This is a school which is showing signs of improvement and Ofsted identify in their inspection that the school has the capacity to continue to improve. There are far far too many cases of schools forced into academy status where no improvement is delivered after the event, worse still many cases where the performance becomes worse. Teachers do not want to work for academy chains! The current staff including HT will be blamed for the poor performance of the academy in its first years, if they survive that long. There is no benefit to children or parents in attending an academy or free school.

    Report this comment

    Stuart Blunden

    Friday, March 14, 2014

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

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