£80,000-a-year posts signal increasing growth of church academies trust

Norwich Diocese Academy Trust. Left, chairman Fred Corbett and senior officer Paul Dunning.Picture:

Norwich Diocese Academy Trust. Left, chairman Fred Corbett and senior officer Paul Dunning.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The rapid growth of a Church of England chain of academy schools has been signalled by its decision to create two new posts of regional principals covering Norfolk.

The Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT) currently has 18 academies, and has said it could grow to up to 50 within the next two years, making it the biggest academy sponsor in Norfolk.

The new regional principals, one covering the east of the diocese and one covering the west, are designed to perform an intermediary role between headteachers in the individual schools, and DNEAT's board.

The trust is seeking 'inspiring, experienced and successful headteachers' for the roles, which will be paid up to £80,000 and are due to start in September, and would work with the trust's primary schools, not its one secondary school, the Open Academy in Norwich.

Paul Dunning, executive officer at DNEAT, said: 'The existing headteachers will still run the schools in the way they run the schools.

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'We need [the new posts] because we need a middle tier between the trust board that's responsible to the Department for Education, and the academies we have currently got.

'The trust board can't know what's going on in all of the academies, particularly if we keep growing.

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'Rather like a company operating in different areas has to find a structure for monitoring and reporting, we will be getting these posts in as an intermediary between the trust board and the academies.

'They are not headteachers going in to run a school, and they are not consultants, as some schools and academies would use to go in on an occasional basis.

'These are people who will get to know these schools and ensure that we deliver the outcomes we want for our children.'

Mr Dunning said the regional principals would be overseeing something like 1,200 to 1,500 pupils, according to the size of the schools in their area.

He said more regional principal posts could follow, depending on the trust's future growth.

Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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