Primary school left without governors after mass walkout

Bignold Primary School in Wessex Street, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Bignold Primary School in Wessex Street, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A Norwich primary school has been left without governors after all of its members resigned at once amid a row with its academy trust. 

In a scathing open letter to the Evolution Academy Trust (EAT), all of Bignold Primary School's parent and community governors have resigned from their posts.

The resignations come following months of unrest among the governors, who say the Trust has failed to communicate properly with them and left them feeling disrespected. 

Among the complaints highlighted in the letter was that the governors had been left out of important school processes, including recruiting new staff members and receiving feedback from Ofsted following an inspection earlier this year.

The governors also said they were concerned that the Trust was pooling the budgets of its schools, which has seen £38,000 of works to Bignold postponed to help finance a project at another EAT academy - Angel Road Infant School.

However, the Trust has insisted it respects the role of its governors.

The letter from the former governors reads: "We feel that the act of remaining as a local governing body would risk us becoming unwittingly complicit in decisions that are not in the best interest of Bignold children and staff - and that is a red line for us.

Most Read

"We are proud of our collective commitment and work to support Bignold and are sad that we have been left no option but to resign as governors."

County and city councillor for Norwich Emma Corlett, who has started a petition to allow schools whi

Emma Corlett, who has resigned as a governor at Bignold Primary - Credit: Archant

The letter is signed by community governors Rosie Chapman and Emma Corlett and parent governors Tamarin Colebrook, Anthony Moore and Jamie Scott.

The group highlighted that they had "100pc faith" in the school's staff and headteacher, but that they had "absolutely no confidence" in the Trust.

Lynsey Holzer, chief executive of Evolution, said: "The Trust is committed to robust and effective governance at trust and school level and we respect the role of our governors, who volunteer their time as part of the wider trust.

"We have been undertaking a piece of work across the trust to ensure we have an excellent and sustainable model of governance across all our schools.

"As a result of this, some changes are still being made which we believe will strengthen every governing body.

"Evolution Academy Trust is run with integrity and a clarity of vision to serve the children and staff in our care."