Interim governors of Cavell Primary finally say if they will consult parents about joining academy chain

Parents Mark Sayer, and Rachel Ward, with the petition parents have signed against the plans to turn

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 - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

The interim governors of a primary school at the centre of a row about becoming an academy have ended weeks of uncertainty about whether they will consult parents over the school's future.

Cavell Primary School in Norwich was put in special measures after receiving a damning Ofsted report last May.

The school's governors had wanted Cavell to join the new Norwich Co-operative Learning Trust, formed with a number of nearby schools, but Norfolk County Council replaced them with an interim executive board (IEB).

After discussions with parents late last year, the IEB decided the school should convert to an academy, and named the Right for Success Trust, which is based at Eaton Hall school, as the prospective sponsor.

However, Cavell came out of special measures following a re-inspection in January, and the learning trust has mounted a legal challenge to the academy conversation, arguing the school was no longer eligible for intervention and the IEB had exceeded its authority. Since then, anti-academy campaigners have been pressing the IEB to carry out a consultation over the choice of Right for Success, arguing this was a legal obligation, despite education secretary Michael Gove approving an order which would make the school an academy on July 1.

For weeks, members of the IEB said they would discuss whether to consult at a meeting on May 1, but parents said that, two weeks on, they have still not been told the outcome.

Now, in a statement to the Evening News, David Lennard Jones, chairman of the IEB, said: 'The IEB discussed whether or not to hold further consultation about becoming an academy with Right for Success at its last meeting.

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'It agreed to plan for further consultation.' He added that the board was aware of the legal challenge being brought by the co-operative trust, and was considering its implications.

It is believed the legal challenge is complicating the issue of when and how the consultation will be carried out.

Rachel Ward, a leader of the Save Cavell campaign, said: 'It is good news that they are going to consult us, but it is their legal obligation to do so and it would be nice if they would keep parents informed about what is going on, rather than us having to find out through the press.'

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