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Wymondham College head regrets school’s academy status and criticises Department for Education for ‘micromanaging’ schools

PUBLISHED: 07:23 03 June 2014 | UPDATED: 09:10 03 June 2014

Wymondham College Principal Melvyn Roffe.

Wymondham College Principal Melvyn Roffe.

The head of a south Norfolk state school has said he regrets the school’s move to become an academy.

Wymondham College principal Melvyn Roffe blasted the Department for Education for “micromanaging” schools – claiming that the change to an academy came after he believed the school would gain more freedom.

He said that the reality was “more government control”.

The DfE disputed Mr Roffe’s claims.

The head teacher said that the school, off Golf Links Road, became an academy for more autonomy.

He said: “What happened was the reverse. We have had more control from central government rather than local government.”

“I don’t believe he (Michael Gove) intended academy status to reduce autonomy. I wish he had the courage to say there are schools doing a good job and they should be allowed to do a good job.”

Mr Roffe, who is set to leave the school after seven years in charge to take the top job at a private college in Edinburgh, said that the DfE was always “looking over your shoulder, and driven by pettiness”.

A spokesperson for the DfE said: “These claims are wrong. Our academies’ programme takes power away from politicians and bureaucrats and gives it to heads and teachers who know their pupils best.

“Academies don’t belong to a remote bureaucracy. Instead they have the freedom to run their school as they think best — by setting pay and conditions for staff, changing the length of the school day and term, shaping their own curriculum and controlling their own budgets.”

What do you think of Mr Roffe’s claims? Contact Lauren Cope on Lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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