Parents remain concerned over new Stalham Junior Academy
07:00 19 June 2014
Archant Norfolk 2014
Mystery still surrounds the status of the headteacher of the former Stalham Junior School which has become an academy.
Concerns were raised at this month’s Stalham Town Council meeting about the whereabouts of Kim Breen, who allegedly has not been at the Yarmouth Road school since it was taken over by the Norwich-based Right for Success Trust on May 1.
Parents and people connected to the school are also worried about the lack of information on changing staff, improvement plans and the lack of parental representation on the Interim Executive Board.
The concerns were expected to be raised at an induction meeting at the school yesterday for parents whose children are due to start this September.
A parent who wished to remain anonymous said: “The trust needs to start communicating with parents and involve them in the management of the school to move it forward. Stalham is lucky because it has an infant, junior and high school and we want our children to stay with their friends. I know parents who are looking at other schools.”
Robert Stevens, who represents Stalham on North Norfolk District Council, described the situation as “extremely alarming”.
Phil Hanton, a former long-term year five/six co-ordinator at the school, said: “The headteacher appears to be on extended leave although parents have not been informed and other experienced members of staff have tendered their resignations. I am concerned that the school no longer appears to be part of the community as a Norwich-based firm takes over.
“I know how hard the present staff has worked this year and I feel it is important that the legacy of the past 37 years is not that of ‘inadequate’.”
The junior school fell from a ‘good’ rating to ‘inadequate’ and was put in special measures following an Ofsted inspection in March last year.
Valerie Moore, chief executive of Right for Success, said the trust had six people who held the National Professional Qualification for headteachers.
She said: “The instant the trust became aware that the headteacher of Stalham Junior was absent we were able to put in place a support package to work with the deputy head.
“Since then the deputy head has done a sterling job working with the trust leading and managing the new academy.
“This continuity of approach has ensured that there is enough support and a willingness and drive from those teachers who were rated as good to move the learning forward for pupils.”
The trust, based at Eaton Hall Specialist Academy, recruited two people to work with academy staff and people are being interviewed on Tuesday by the trust.
Miss Moore added: “It is important the academy recruits good, enthusiastic staff with the drive and ability to move the pupils learning on so that they receive the type of education to which all children, we believe, have a right.
“If staff are not able to rise to meet the challenges set by the government’s standards they are well within their rights to find more suitable employment elsewhere.”
She has spoken with the chairman of the town council, which has requested that the trust outlines its plans at the July 7 council meeting in the town hall at 7.30pm.
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