Search

Anger as Government confirms Hewett School will become an Inspiration Trust academy next term

12:00 05 August 2015

From September the school will be known as The Hewett Academy, Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

From September the school will be known as The Hewett Academy, Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

Hewett School students will return to an Inspiration Trust-run academy next month after the Department for Education gave its takeover the green light today.

The new badge for the Hewett Academy, Norwich which will be used from September.The new badge for the Hewett Academy, Norwich which will be used from September.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan confirmed the controversial proposals will become a reality, with the school becoming The Hewett Academy, Norwich, from September.

The announcement has provoked a strong response from campaigners against the proposals - including Norwich South MP Clive Lewis - who said he was “angry and disappointed” that the views of local families had been ignored.

“It’s unfortunate that yet again the community, and most importantly the children of Hewett, have been let down. What was the point of holding a consultation and ignoring the result simply because it wasn’t the answer the Government and the Inspiration Trust wanted?”

But Inspiration Trust chief executive, Rachel de Souza, said she was “thrilled by the opportunity to make the Hewett great again for the people of Norwich”.

Land conditions imposed

One of the more controversial aspects of the academisation of the Hewett School has been the ownership of the land.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan has said she is minded to give the Inspiration Trust the freehold of the land, but the deal will have the following conditions imposed.

Before the freehold will be handed over the Inspiration Trust will be required to agree that:
1. Leases, licences and other agreements or arrangements with existing community users of the land will not be allowed to be terminated or amended without the permission of the education secretary

2. Part of the site will be transferred to the Wherry School Trust

3. The Trust should agrees to future transfers of land for any other educational use determined reasonably by the Secretary of State.

“There is only a short time before the academy opens in September, and we are already busy working with the principal, Tom Leverage, to support his priorities for the Hewett.”

She said in a statement that the Trust had invited Mr Lewis to join the school’s governing body, adding: “We know there is great love for the Hewett locally and some nervousness about its future. With his community role and existing experience as a school governor, I have today written to Norwich South MP Clive Lewis inviting him to join the new governing body.

“We are proud to be stepping up to the challenge of reinvigorating the Hewett, and we hope Mr Lewis will too.”

Mr Lewis said he intended to obtain responses shortly from both the Secretary of State on a number of outstanding issues.

“Clearly there are still serious concerns over the land and I’ll be spending the coming days and weeks speaking to local parents and the community, to get the best outcome for the families and city I represent. This has always been and always will remain their campaign but it is one I and many others in Norwich have been moved by,” he added.

James Joyce, chairman of Children’s Services said Norfolk County Council was considering its response.

“Our priority is to ensure that the children of Norwich receive the very best education and we still believe that a learning village on the Hewett site offers a fantastic opportunity to bring a range of providers together for the benefit of families across South Norwich. We will therefore be reviewing, in particular detail, the conditions in relation to the transfer of the land.”

The Hewett Academy, Norwich’s principal, Tom Leverage, said: “I know some parents have some concerns about the changes, but for me the most important thing is that we now have certainty for our pupils, our staff, and our school.

“I have gotten to know the Inspiration Trust during the consultation period, and I am delighted to take the school forward.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “Our priority is to make sure every child has the chance to get an excellent education and the best start in life. Ofsted’s recent report on the Hewett School could not be clearer that immediate change is required in order for that to happen.

“As we have seen time and again, becoming an academy with the support of a strong sponsor is the quickest and most effective way to bring about rapid and sustained improvement.

“That is why Hewett School will become an academy under Inspiration Trust, a strong sponsor with a proven track record of delivering rapid improvements in under performing secondary schools. This has been taken with the best interests of children in mind and will help to secure the long term future of the school.”

Opposition to the trust taking over the school has been strong from some parents and campaigners.

Following public demonstrations a consultation was held by the Department for Education which attracted 350 responses.

Mr Leverage wrote to parents in July confirming the uniform will remain unchanged for the start of the new academic year in September.

However, following requests from pupils he has asked the student council to look at whether it could be improved in the future.

The school is currently a foundation school operated by the Central Norwich Foundation Trust. The CNFT decided in 2012 to become an academy, but the proposals did not go ahead.

The Trust said the school’s new name and badge would deepen the connection with Mordecai Hewett.

Mr Hewett’s coat of arms was a chevron separating three owls and the academy’s new badge will feature this an owl and the school’s traditional colours of blue and gold.

The Inspiration Trust now runs ten schools in Norfolk and Suffolk, with new free schools opening in Great Yarmouth and Norwich in September 2016.

•What do you think? You can leave your comments below.

Related articles

54 comments

  • You can have your say, but we will have our way, end off. I can only agree with beanie's response, ensure that your children's data is not being used for IT's aims and PR objectives. Thanks to Disenfranchised teacher for speaking up, I have also heard of peculiar instructions given to children whence OFSTED inspections are due in academies, something to gather for the future. The land belongs to the people of Norwich, by covenant, so IT should be able to rent or lease, but not own this part of Norwich, it uis a prime public housing site and should not be given away for an apple and egg.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, August 10, 2015

  • Thanks Disenfr. It is good to have some real experiences from a teacher working in IT schs and it matches exactly what I have heard and seen too. Bored children, exhausted and disinterested staff and parents unable to be heard. It will all eventually implod.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Sunday, August 9, 2015

  • Interesting Dis Teach! Would love to know what your thoughts are on the best approaches are to a school day that you have encountered.

    Report this comment

    Beanie

    Saturday, August 8, 2015

  • Having read followed this story, read the article and browsed comments and opinions left by other viewers, I felt inspired to register and add to the conversation. I thought I'd be able to provide some unique perspective having worked at ground zero in several IT schools. What I've observed is so disconnected from other schools I've taught in. The curriculum that teachers have to followed is all dry, prescribed, tear inducingly dull schemes of pre planned work. There is zero room for creativity or individualisation of lessons for different ability levels. A typical day in a IT school follows as such: Literacy, Handwriting, Spelling, Break, Maths, Lunch (only 45 mins) Extended writing (1.5 hours!) Topic (again, all from a prescribed scheme) Enrichment. Enrichment is the 'fun' part of the day that takes children up to 5pm. A three hour afternoon with no break. In my experience in IT schools, staff are exhausted & children are so extremely bored and tired! Behaviour in IT schools, in my experience, is some of the worst in any schools I've visited. In one school, in particular, the exam results are so bad, that if they weren't an academy, they'd instantly be placed in special measures, but I guess it's who you know hey Dame De corrupt!?

    Report this comment

    Disenfranchised Teacher

    Saturday, August 8, 2015

  • For those who are most unhappy with the IT take over who's children attend the Hewett, you could consider: Point blank refuse (in writing) to allow and pictures or video of your child being taken by the school from the very beginning. That way it cannot be used indiscriminately online etc for their purposes. Refuse ALL media exposure of your children by the IT and their publicity machine. The school is the data controller for your information and that of your child, you should take control of all aspects of this data from the very start. Any schools HomeSchool Agreement that you are asked to sign is unenforceable legally for many reasons and you should refuse to sign and return it. The school governors have a duty to follow these up. Get to grips with the complaints procedure from the start and use it. Academies no longer have to present all complaints made on a register to the ofsted inspectors, only some of them dependant on certain things. Use the Parent View Ofsted facility to give your views on the IT for the forthcoming academic year. You know there are major examination changes about to begin, ie new GCSEs and new A Levels. Are you fully informed of what these are and how they effect subjects taken.

    Report this comment

    Beanie

    Saturday, August 8, 2015

  • You appear to sum up the imminent changes quite well, obviously seen and been there before with academies.

    Report this comment

    Beanie

    Saturday, August 8, 2015

  • As does mine so perhaps Nuts u could refrain from making your usual sweeping dismissive statements and face the facts that u choose to ignore or pervert.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Friday, August 7, 2015

  • Good old Monkeynuts, still going into bat for RDS and her cronies. You'll just have to take my work that I know rather more than I'd choose to about the IT juggernaut, and the destruction they leave in their path. You keep beating the drum, and I'll keep sitting back watching. There's no point anyone upsetting the apple cart as they'd be run out of town, by the current system. Take my word that there have been staff disappearing overnight from IT schools, as well as the old Costessey High School when that was run by RDS. I'm sure you'll say that they were simply not up to the job and needed to go, but look at some of the schools that IT has taken over in the last couple of years, look at the staff turnover (and more importantly, look at the quality of some of the staff that left), look at the disappearing students, then, when you have those figures, come back and tell us we're wrong. One day you may find out, but I'm sure you still won't believe it. That's fine, you are entitled to your opinion, just as the rest of us are entitled to ours. And my own, comes from within education.

    Report this comment

    OldSchool

    Friday, August 7, 2015

  • Johnboy. To quote from the Charity Commission website: 2. Do academies have to register with the Charity Commission? No, academies cannot register with the Commission. Although they are charities, they have exempt charity status which means that they are not registered or directly regulated by us.

    Report this comment

    Wymspen

    Friday, August 7, 2015

  • One of numerous examples....."GDP: A Flawed Measure of Progress Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has many deficiencies as a measure of economic well-being. Most often noted is the fact that it can only add, which means it makes no distinction between beneficial and harmful economic activity. Gun sales to children, divorce, and oil spills all generate new economic activity and all count as additions to GDP. Accelerating the depletion of precious nonrenewable resources like oil and coal accelerates GDP growth even as it destroys the essential resource on which that growth depends."

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Friday, August 7, 2015

  • Just Google it for confirmation from numerous sources! GDP is not an indication of wealth my friend as any economist will tell u.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Friday, August 7, 2015

  • If people don’t like the nature of the school allocated to their children, there are plenty of private schools around.

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Friday, August 7, 2015

  • Come on sports wagon, this is like asking your parents to do your homework for you. Richest European Countries   5. Germany: $3.815 trillion (up 16.6%)   6. Russia: $3.458 trillion (up 12.1%)   9. United Kingdom: $2.641 trillion (up 17.6%) 10. France: $2.634 trillion (up 13.6%)  Interesting that you use the Telegraph for your information too....

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Friday, August 7, 2015

  • Nuts u have to be RDS or an IT employee!

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Friday, August 7, 2015

  • Thanks Nuts.....for info rather than insults "UK reclaims sixth largest economy slot Britain has reclaimed its place as the world’s sixth largest economy from Brazil and will be larger than France by 2022, a leading forecaster has predicted." Telegraph

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Friday, August 7, 2015

  • Really nuts...a bit dishonest. Just Google it and GB comes up in every search as the 5th or 6th wealthiest!!!!!

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Friday, August 7, 2015

  • Sports wagon - it's clear that your lack of knowledge on all things educational goes beyond that of how the LEA totally screwed kids taught in the 80's but also into current affairs. Sadly we aren't as affluent as you say we are, today we are lacking behind brazil and Indonesia in 9th place, according to GDP stats. Every days and Inspiration Trust school day here.

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Friday, August 7, 2015

  • Presumably you mean how wonderful that our economy, which always depends on the quality of our education system, is the 5 wealthiest economy in the world. Perhaps, inspite of all the politicians' rubbish spin the LEAs haven't done so badly after all and from someone having worked with both sectors I can tell you the motives, the experience and the gaming in the academy sector generally is very suspect.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Friday, August 7, 2015

  • Again, we have someone with experience of working with the academies being undermined by someone with no knowledge except a Google search. Dear oh dear Norfolk, see what years of badly run LEA schools have done for us?

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Thursday, August 6, 2015

  • We shall see.....still only 18% of all schools are academies including all the forced ones!

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Thursday, August 6, 2015

  • If, as is suggested, the IT is a Charity, how come there is no reference to them when you search the Charity Commission's database?

    Report this comment

    Johnboy

    Thursday, August 6, 2015

  • Yes, mob mentality. Those unable to attend a public consultation without resorting to shouting, offensive language and downright rudeness. The inability to put across meaningful points without any basis, as been said, in search of an ideology rather than a reasonable practise. This house of cards has turned into a house of steel, it's not going away anytime soon, I'd get used to it and put your time into something you could actually put to good use. This is one you can't and won't win. Sorry to burst the bubble, but it's over.

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Thursday, August 6, 2015

  • Interesting language..."mob rule" but just maybe the few of us who care about our local schools are growing in number and worry about this privatising of our assets. It used to be just me but new protesters are voicing their views daily.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Thursday, August 6, 2015

  • Wymspen - honestly I wouldn't waste your time on this. These people do not want to dialogue with anyone pro Academy' They have no intention of listening, even when given all the information under the sun. Straw man theories and ad hominem seem to be their forte. No matter what you say they will always claim you're wrong and they're right. It's the way they operate. There's a little gang of 3-4 members who, once one posts, they all join in. Mob mentality. It's a shame they can't use some of their time for good.

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Thursday, August 6, 2015

  • Arfur. Academy trusts are legally charities, overseen by the Charity Commission (as well as by Companies House and the Education Funding Agency) to which we have to report annually. Any "profits" we might make (though that isn't very likely given the tight budget we have to operate) have to be ploughed back into the educational work of the trust. There are strict rules which prevent directors or trustees profiting from the trust.

    Report this comment

    Wymspen

    Thursday, August 6, 2015

  • Sorry David is Leftie ok

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Thursday, August 6, 2015

  • You've been saying the same nonsense now for well over 13 months Old School, and you've been shown to be wrong time and time again. About time you moved on to a subject you know about maybe?

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Haha, the old "my mate dave said....." Give us all a break, bring the evidence to the table, blow this all out of the water. Make it go away. It's pretty simple. Unless of course there isn't a smoking gun? So many experts on here, why aren't any of you in education?

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Yes, exactly. Went into hiding after the "sick" email last week, but comes out gloating tonight. It will all come out in the wash. You can't treat people the way IT do and expect them to stay silent. Matter of time before the house of cards starts to wobble.

    Report this comment

    OldSchool

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Interesting to see how quickly the smiley Dame was on TV to taunt her opponents.... but whenever there is a whiff of scandal she goes to ground.

    Report this comment

    Johnboy

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Hardly a surprise. Someone I work with had a meeting at county hall back in February, and was informed at that point IT would be taking over Hewett. The most annoying thing is why pretend? We all know the connections between IT and government, and we know the corruption and scandal that follows IT. Some of us within education, also know exactly what they get up to and the way they treat students and staff. Get ready for huge staff turnover, as the decent, but often costly, or outspoken staff get moved on- often overnight. Get ready for depressed children who will be given vastly inflated targets, constant pressure regarding their performance, lots of extra core subject time, and ridiculous add ons with no value other than to GCSE results tables. These people shouldn't be allowed near children, let alone be responsible for their education. This whole saga is a disgrace, and Nicky Morgan and chums should be thoroughly ashamed - and I'm a Tory voter, sorry.

    Report this comment

    OldSchool

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Monkeynuts and Wymspen. If opposing academies is a leftie ideology how is supporting them not a right wing one? I mean, it is only done in the name of profit and has nothing to do with real education standards, does it now?

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Again, the mob mentality rears it's ugly head. Most of these protesters have political agendas behind their anger, nothing to do with the kids at all. Just a load of pent up lefties looking to do what they do best - moaning. Having had more dealings with IT than most if not all of these people, they have worked wonders in many many schools and there will soon be many people with eggs on their faces. And oh how we will laugh!

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Thanks BG, well aware Blaire started this academy lark for much the same reason as the Tories......to win cheap votes by slating education and then being triumphant about his success. Shame it failed but like most inept politicians he and the current lot just don't learn. As I said ....appalling. We've had grammars, comps, Grant Maintained,, Foundation schs and now academies: all political experiments by idiots and empire builders seeking fame. Saw the simpering RDS on TV tonight and it doesn't take a psychologist to read from her body language what she is really about.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • I have read the consultation response - and noted with interest one key paragraph: "There is a well-organised group of parents and community members who made clear their opposition to academisation as a policy and were extremely hostile towards IT as the preferred sponsor. The group is supported by some local councillors and the local Member of Parliament." The overall report is very thorough, and makes it very clear that most opposition to the process is ideological, and not based on meeting the needs of the children. As a director of a different academy trust I find some of the things being said about Inspiration Trust to be ludicrous: clearly some who criticise have no idea of how a trust is organised, what its powers are, and how it is monitored.

    Report this comment

    Wymspen

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • "As ex Hewett School alumni excelant and about time too.Raising standards that had dropped very badly I'm good with that", well paul h, clearly your spelling, punctuation and grammar shows just how low the standards had dropped.

    Report this comment

    Davidbrian552

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • With good reason BG. Inspiration Trust are poorly run. How can emails be lost? Bit too convenient. IT are dodgy.

    Report this comment

    Andrew McDonnell

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Sportswagon Tony Blair started off the whole idea of academies. Miliband was lent on by the teaching unions to stop them as they are against them - full stop. Lewis should have listened to Dame De Sousa tonight who put in a fairly robust rebuttal of Lewis`s allegations. Instead of trying to stir it up all the time he should try for once to do something positive and work with the Trust to make sure the Hewett makes a go of things. However I don`t see him or the edp letting the subject go. They just don`t like Dame De Sousa and that`s the rub of it.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • This government says it promotes 'localism' (their word) whilst all their actions prove they are only interested in ensuring their supporters make money. To paraphrase Johnny Rotten: Ever felt you've been had, Tory voters?

    Report this comment

    arfur

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Truly appalling and so indicative of this ruthless Government determined to enrich its friends and part privatise education. They have no interest at all in children. Someone will have to sort out this dreadful mess in a decade or so and academies and free schools will be a filthy stain on the history of state education.....what an awful legacy.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Excellent news. The pupils in this school should now be allowed to get a decent education. And it's time for 'angry' Clive to decide if he is going to do something constructive and be part of the solution to the school's low educational standards by joining the governing body, or broadcast righteous indignation from the green benches in London to zero effect.

    Report this comment

    a fine city

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Any students currently at the JAC or Isaac Newton. This will be your new home.

    Report this comment

    TheTruth

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • A disgrace - if lots of parents are upset with this they should remove their child and ask Norfolk CC to provide place at LEA school !

    Report this comment

    Sparky 45

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • As ex Hewett School alumni excelant and about time too.Raising standards that had dropped very badly I'm good with that,

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • And they'll certainly be ready for when ofsted arrive. Allegedly.

    Report this comment

    Davidbrian552

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Another one falls to the IT merry go round of smoke and mirrors, improving results through nefarious means and manipulation of figures. Ok Hewitt kids, get ready for English, Maths, Maths, Maths, English, English. With more English and Maths on Saturdays (and then Sundays too when the management realise that none of the targets they set to show off to Ofsted will be met). Say goodbye to the subjects that really inspire individuality and creativity and become an exam robot instead. Teachers -if you are young, inexperienced and cheap - you'll do, they'll give you lots of responsibility and shiny trophies to make you feel good about yourself. Don't worry about those misbehaving kids (or the ones with little chance of getting a C in Maths or English), they'll be quietly shipped off to other non-IT schools to lift the grade average. Others will be threatened before Ofsted arrive so they'll be good as gold. To those teachers that can really inspire, educate, and motivate any student, who are popular within the school and without, leave. You will anyway, whether you want to or not. You're a danger to their model working, those who can see through the smog and fluff to what IT really stand for. Why be good when it's cheaper to just look good?

    Report this comment

    JRedding

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Something stinks Dame De Sewers....

    Report this comment

    A M

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Good decision. Hopefully the liberal teachers will work with the ones that want to get on and give the children a better future for a school that is lucky to survive.

    Report this comment

    komakino

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • @Jenkins old chap... Had you of been at any of the protests, consultations etc. You'd have seen Clive Lewis was with us every step of the way. He has done more for us in his current tenure than our previous incumbent ever did in 5 years. However, everyone's hands were well and truly tied because Inspiration Trust were supported by their Tory friends and donors. What was the point of our consultation if we're not going to be listened to? 80 percent said no! 80 percent!!! Yet still the Secretary of Education didn't listen. Today is a sad day, democracy has well and truly died.

    Report this comment

    nobbly1

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Thought our wonderful MP Clive Lewis was going to stop this happening, not a very effective campaigner it would seem, Labour has always been a failure in Government and at local level am sure that the best decision has been made .

    Report this comment

    Jenkins

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Oh come on, is anyone surprised? The voters of norfolk pretty much allow this to happen, I hope some of them are bowing their heads in shame.

    Report this comment

    Davidbrian552

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • A shocking but not surprising decision by the DfE, Tim Coulson etc to hand this school over to their friends (and political donors) at Inspiration Trust. Parents do not trust these people in any way. If you meet any of these corporate types, you will see that education is not their main aim. They must be rubbing their hands with glee at their latest valuable acquisition.

    Report this comment

    Magdalena

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • By the time Tory voters wake up to the fact they've been well and truly shafted, it will be way, way too late. If I were a parent with a child at Hewitt, I'd vote with my feet.

    Report this comment

    GoneAway

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

  • Ah well, what did anyone expect? Tories in government, Tories behind the Inspiration Trust and Tories on the management team of the school, you gets what you votes for folks, a sad day for the more disadvantaged pupils in the system at any rate...

    Report this comment

    SilverMachine

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Latest from the EDP

Most Read

Featured Pages

Most Commented

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 14°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the EDP
digital edition

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up