City Academy’s funding boost

A Norwich academy school is to get �113,000 in a funding boost from its county council sponsors.

County Hall co-sponsors three Norfolk academy schools including City Academy Norwich, and the ruling cabinet is to discuss proposals to give out �340,000 between them to support community involvement, leadership and learning over the next two financial years.

City Academy Norwich replaced Earlham High School in 2009 with City College Norwich as its lead sponsor, Norfolk County Council a co-sponsor and the Norwich School a strategic partner.

The investment has been proposed due to a �475,000 underspend on the 2010/11 budget, but opposition councillors said the cash should be shared out among all schools, particularly at a time when the council is cutting funding support and spending on new buildings and improvements is being squeezed.

Specific decisions on how the money will be spent will be made jointly by the principals of the academies and the county council.

Alison Thomas, cabinet member for children's services at Norfolk County Council, said: 'We take our role as sponsors of these academies extremely seriously and it is fantastic that we are now in a position to look at providing some additional financial support to boost the advice and guidance we already offer as sponsors.

'The sponsored academy model we supported stands a good chance of completely transforming the educational opportunities of young people. This investment would also give us an opportunity to play a very active role in supporting these academies to work more effectively with their local communities, enhancing the experiences of the students and their parents and supporting our ambition to support Norfolk's residents to have high aspirations and levels of achievement.'

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Labour's education spokesman Bert Bremner said: 'Even though this would be a direct benefit to the City Academy, it seems wrong that money is being given directly to an academy when there are cutbacks being made in support for schools in deprived areas.'

Dick Palmer, chairman of governors at City Academy Norwich, said: 'The governing body is very pleased that Norfolk County Council is looking to consolidate its sponsorship of City Academy Norwich by investing in the development of the leadership team of the school.'

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