Academy trusts in Norfolk and Waveney given £1.5m funding to grow and improve performance

Academy chains Norfolk and Waveney have been given more than �1.5m to expand. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA

Academy chains Norfolk and Waveney have been given more than �1.5m to expand. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Academy chains which run schools in Norfolk and Waveney were given more than £1.5m last year to grow and improve performance.

Mark Farrar. Picture: Denise Bradley

Mark Farrar. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

In 2016/17, the Department for Education awarded some of the region's multi-academy trusts (MATs) slices of a £30m national pot, which ranged from £60,000 up to £221,000.

The regional academy growth fund (RAGF) is designed to support 'successful' trusts, allowing them to take on more schools or improve standards in under performing academies.

The Synergy MAT, which was established by Reepham High School and College in 2015, received £100,000 in the grant funding, money which helped its growth from two schools just a year ago to six - with a seventh on the way.

Its schools now include Foulsham, Mattishall and Bawdeswell Primaries.


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Chief executive Mark Farrar said: 'The money was awarded to us for two reasons - firstly, to extend the central services team, whose work load has increased enormously as a result of the rapid growth of the trust.

'Secondly, to help fund an executive primary head teacher who works with our primary heads in further raising the quality of teaching and learning in our primary schools.'

Reepham High School and College. Picture: Antony Kelly

Reepham High School and College. Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

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Gerard Batty, chief executive of the Wensum Trust - which received £100,000 - agreed that the funds enabled the MAT, which runs schools including Acle Academy and Hellesdon High, to carry out behind the scenes work.

'When schools join we provide central services for finance, ICT, HR and site management,' he said. 'It's a large amount of work - and these funds help the back room staff who keep the trust running.'

Gerard Batty, chief executive of the Wensum Trust. Picture: Submitted

Gerard Batty, chief executive of the Wensum Trust. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

The highest sum awarded in the region - and the seventh highest around the country - was £221,000, given to the Consortium Academy Trust, which was founded last year with Glebeland Primary, in Toft Monks, St Edmund's Primary, in Hoxne in Suffolk, and Mendham Primary, in Suffolk.

The Halesworth-based MAT has since seen several other Suffolk schools, including Southwold Primary, join.

The College of West Anglia (CWA) Academy Trust was given £140,000 during the year, though it was later reformed as the Eastern Multi-Academy Trust after its founder college, the CWA, stepped back.

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