MP under fire over school’s campaign

Simon Wright MP, chats with one of the campaign organisers, Tina Boulter, front, as concerned parents campaign to stop Cavell Primary school becoming an academy. Picture: Denise Bradley Simon Wright MP, chats with one of the campaign organisers, Tina Boulter, front, as concerned parents campaign to stop Cavell Primary school becoming an academy. Picture: Denise Bradley

Annabelle Dickson annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk
Saturday, December 21, 2013
6:30 AM

A Norwich MP has denied accusations he is “two-faced” for signing a letter calling for more academies, while showing support to an anti-academy campaign at Cavell Primary School.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Simon Wright, who was photographed with parents who were holding campaign posters saying “Save Cavell - No to Academy”, said he had explicitly told them during a meeting in Norwich, that there may well be an academy sponsor which could achieve what the parents wanted for the school when he met them last month.

Norfolk County Council removed the school’s governors because they wanted to form a co-operative trust with nearby schools, before considering academisation, and appointed an interim executive board (IEB) which will decide the school’s future.

It came after Ofsted said the school was “inadequate” in May, but a follow up inspection in July found its improvement plan was “fit for purpose”.

Mr Wright met parents after they launched an online petition against an academy, which received more than 1,000 signatures, where he publically criticised Norfolk County Council for its push to convert the primary school into an academy, because he said parents had not been involved.

Just over a week later he co-signed a letter with the other nine Norfolk MPs in which he encouraged more schools to convert to academy status, adding: “We believe that this is the way forward for Norfolk schools and will drive improvements as well as assisting with budget issues.”

Chair of Co-operatives UK, Chris Herries, who lives in Norwich, described Mr Wright as “two-faced”.

She said: “This is the MP who told the parents of Cavell School Lakenham that he supported them and the local schools forming a cooperative trust. A few days later he signed a letter with other Norfolk MPs saying that all Norfolk Schools would be better off as academies.”

But Mr Wright said he had never been an anti-academy campaigner and it was up to the IEB to decide what was best.

“In my view parents were in a situation where they believed a clear way forward for the school was a cooperative trust, a consultation was held and that was considered to be a way forward for the school to improve it performance. Very late in the day, a matter of days before that cooperative trust came into affect the council took steps to bring forward the IED and there was no real communication with parents at that stage. It is quite understandable that they feel upset and angry at that point. I have been quite critical of the county on that basis.”

But he said that he had never been an anti-academy campaigner.

He said that it was up to the IEB to decide what was best for the school. “We are working in a slightly grey area at the moment though in that it is not clear who the sponsor would be.”

“I have never ruled out Cavell becoming an academy. It is one potential way forward for the school. What I have been quite clear on also is that the IEB is there to do its job, and we should let it get on and do that and make its recommendation.”

He said: “I recall saying at the meeting that there may well be a sponsor out there that can achieve what we want to achieve.”

19 comments

  • He is more than two faced, he doesn't even bother to reply or acknowledge letters sent a year ago. Still come 2015 he alongside his useless other party members and leader will be gone for good.

    Report this comment

    Cannot Say

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

  • Cavell should have been allowed to join the Cooperative Trust with the other schools in the group. Our children are already experiencing the benefits of shared resources and expertise.

    Report this comment

    Carol Bolton

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

  • Man of Two Faces speaks with forked tongue.His tribe,a mix of the Many Faces and Face Different Ways At The Same Time,are even worse.Time they fled to the hills.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

  • I don't agree with that, county hall didn't need any help to mess things up, anyway we had to have cuts as the out goings were far greater than the income. The national debt left by Labour proved that.

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

  • Incidentally, I do wonder when the coalition will admit the banks were part of the problem, as was the global recession. They will eventually have to stop blaming the last govt and have the b**** to admit that they too got it wrong since it all appears rosier now but as with Labour it is built on debt. You just can't trust politicians.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • He is 2 faced, look at his reason for not letting their being an investigation to the increased use of Foodbanks. Little does this little PRAT realise, the increased use of Foodbanks is simply down to this Government which he is part of, nothing to do with what Labour done years ago. But of course he blames them, cause that is the default setting all Lib Dem and Tory MPs use

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

  • No surprise here then....he can't be honest because he daren't express what he and most LDs think about this awful privatisation of schs policy since he must stick to the Government line....what a shambles.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

  • What else would you expect from a LibDem except lies, duplicity, uselessness and dishonesty. Norwich didn't deserve 5 years of this creep.

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

  • Incidentally, I do wonder when the coalition will admit the banks were part of the problem, as was the global recession. They will eventually have to stop blaming the last govt and have the b**** to admit that they too got it wrong since it all appears rosier now but as with Labour it is built on debt. You just can't trust politicians.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • Oh dear - someone's been summoned to The Beak and given six of the best for not toeing the party line.... this is simply showmanship from Wright and nothing more. Sadly, the parents and governors of Cavell will find themselves being ultimately ignored and, like many other schools in Norfolk, will find themselves having no choice and no voice about who they are placed with. As I have said before, the LEA and DfE are already in cahoots, the decisions have already been made and Lord Nash is just waiting for them to tick all the right boxes before he signs on the dotted line. It's utterly sick and perverse.

    Report this comment

    Fenscape

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • Whatever wind direction the wind blows from, party politicians, especially Lib Dems, will hang their flags into, we're only going with the flow, Joe....

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, December 22, 2013

  • ......and worse Fenscape it DOESN'T work as is being proved despite costing a bomb!

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013

  • AndyT he is fully towing the Govt line on academies but trying to curry favour with his electorate and is being very 2 faced as a result.....no principles and no stomach to fight for what he believes in if anything! Liberals used to be all about local democracy rather than centralised control but of course he now has to keep quiet and agree with Central Office.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • He should be more involved with NCC as he would fit in well, he could choose any party as they all change when they get to county hall. I challenge anybody to find a councillor who can be trusted at county hall as I can't .

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

  • Morris, if he followed the Government line, he'd be in County supporting the Conservatives, rather than supporting Labour & UKIP. Leslie, as Sweet Cheeks correctly states... we have to have cuts because of the debts left to us by LABOUR. Even labour MP's agree that there is a need for cutbacks. Irony is that Labour are now in opposition so can blame everyone else because they don't have to implement cuts to put their own mess right.

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Monday, December 23, 2013

  • It's nothing but smoke and mirrors - make the Ofsted inspection criteria insanely unattainable, put the schools into special measures and then strike fear into the hearts of the parents by telling them that they must buy into an incoming academy as it is the only way to bring the grades back up 'for the sake of the children'. I was chatting to a Norfolk headteacher last week who told me in no uncertain terms that academisation is simply privatisation through the back door. Straight after that, I met some of his students and told them that should such a thing come to pass on their own front door step, they should remember that, like all private ventures, they are ultimately the customers and whatever ridiculous 'Trust' they might end up under, they should make their demands clear and loud.

    Report this comment

    Fenscape

    Thursday, December 26, 2013

  • Simple next election vote Conservative for high standards and good with paying back the credit card left by Gorden and friends.

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

  • Why is anyone surprised? This is what party hacks do.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

  • When voteing at the next election just remember he is part of a government that has imposed massive cuts on county hall and got them to do the dirty work for the goverment

    Report this comment

    leslie cater

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 11°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT