Tuesday, July 1, 2014
A group of parents and campaigners held a minute’s silence and laid white lilies to mark “the death of democracy” as a Norwich primary school officially became an academy.
Cavell Primary School officially became the Edith Cavell Academy at midnight, as it moved out of the local authority’s sphere and became a member of the growing Right For Success Trust.
The 15-month saga over the school’s future started when the school was put in special measures last year.
The county council removed governors who wanted the school to join a co-operative trust, and a replacement interim executive board recommended it become an academy.
The school came out of special measures following a follow-up Ofsted inspection in January, but the council and interim governors said a strong sponsor was needed to sustain the school’s improvement.
Rachel Ward, who helped lead the Save Cavell campaign, said: “We had a symbolic moment of silence for what feels like the death of democracy at Cavell. The interim executive board has always tried to portray it as a small group that is opposed to academies at all costs, but if you look at the support we have had there is a lot greater depth of support than they have sometimes given credit for.”
James Joyce, chairman of Norfolk County Council Children’s Services Committee, said: “It is our expectation all schools in Norfolk will become good school as quickly as possible. The Interim Executive Board of Cavell, after careful consideration, decided the best route was to become a sponsored academy and we believe that this move will give the school the strong and effective governance it needs to become a good school and secure long-term improvement.
“Right For Success is based at an outstanding Norwich school and we believe it has the skills and experience to give the pupils the education they deserve, building on the progress already achieved by staff and the IEB.
“The main priority must be to ensure that Norfolk children get the very best education, whether they attend a community school, academy, free school or faith school.”