Church academy trust tries again to fill key positions

Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust chairman Fred Corbett. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust chairman Fred Corbett. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Norfolk's biggest academy trust is trying again to appoint two executive principals to oversee large clusters of its schools after its initial search failed to find suitable candidates.

A total of 26 schools have become academies in the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT), or are in the process of joining, and governors at a further four schools have voted to convert.

In March, the group advertised for two regional principals to work with its primary schools, paid up to £80,000, to start in September 2015. The new roles were designed to be a middle tier between DNEAT's board, and individual schools.

However, Fred Corbett, chairman of DNEAT, said it became clear in interviews with candidates that it needed to be more explicit about the responsibilities of the role, and did not appoint anybody.

He said: 'Because they are an interesting hybrid role that's between an executive headteacher, where you have direct responsibility for a group of schools, and also being a school improvement advisor, it's quite a strange combination of roles for people to get their heads around.'

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He said the trust had since examined how Reach2, the biggest primary school academy sponsor in England, operates, and had now sharpened the roles and re-started the recruitment process. It is now advertising for two executive principals, to cover east and west Norfolk, to start in Easter or September 2016.

He added the trust was likely to make another appointment next year as more schools joined.

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