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Parents' anger as Costessey is left out of academy name

PUBLISHED: 13:30 22 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:27 01 July 2010

Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, which has given its name to the Ormiston Victory Academy at Costessey.

Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, which has given its name to the Ormiston Victory Academy at Costessey.

Steve Downes

Angry parents are demanding a rethink after the leaders of Norwich's next academy opted to leave Costessey out of its name.

The Evening News has been contacted by a clutch of parents who claimed they had been "betrayed" by the choice of the name Ormiston Victory Academy (OVA) for the £27m facility that is expected to replace Costessey High.

Angry parents are demanding a rethink after the leaders of Norwich's next academy opted to leave Costessey out of its name.

The Evening News has been contacted by a clutch of parents who claimed they had been “betrayed” by the choice of the name Ormiston Victory Academy (OVA) for the £27m facility that is expected to replace Costessey High.

The name, revealed last week, was selected so that students could be inspired by HMS Victory, Admiral Lord Nelson's most famous ship.

Principal-designate Rachel de Souza said it was chosen after consultation with staff and parents.

But some parents have insisted that the view of themselves and the majority of pupils was that the name “Costessey” must remain.

Julie Woodhouse, from Breckland Road, Costessey, has a son in year nine at Costessey High.

She said: “I feel betrayed, and a lot of the parents are not happy. Before we agreed to the academy, we were specifically told that they would keep the name 'Costessey' in its title.

“The pupils don't want to lose their identity. The new name doesn't roll off the tongue. It makes me think more of Winston Churchill sticking his two fingers up.”

Miss Woodhouse's mother, Sandra Woodhouse, said: “I think it should have Costessey in there somewhere. It's been Costessey since I can remember.”

Another mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Since this all started, we've been led to believe it would be called Ormiston Costessey Academy.

“The students voted on it earlier this year and there was a huge majority wanting to keep Costessey in the name.

“I've spoken to several of the children and they are livid. They voted on this and they have been ignored. Calling it after a warship is totally uninspired.”

She added: “We are really proud of our community and its name.”

Another emailed to say that the story in the Evening News was the “first time” the parents had heard about the new name.

Mrs de Souza said: “After extensive consultation within the school and the community, we decided on the inspirational name of Victory, particularly with its local historical connections. The name is Ormiston Victory Academy, Costessey. We have had widespread support for our choice.

“My door is always open to parents and the community to discuss matters of concern.”

The Middleton Crescent school is awaiting final consent from the Department for Education to be closed and replaced in the same buildings by Ormiston Victory Academy.

If consent comes by July 31, it will open in September, with the plan to build a new £27m complex within a few years.

t What do you think of the name? Call Steve Downes on 01603 772495 or email steve.downes@archant.co.uk.

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