College of West Anglia resigns from troubled academies trust

Principal David Pomfret at the College of West Anglia. Picture: Ian Burt

Principal David Pomfret at the College of West Anglia. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The College of West Anglia is resigning the leadership of the academies trust it set up seven years ago.

It comes after one of its flagship schools was branded 'inadequate' by education watchdogs, the college was told it 'required improvement' and another school was told to leave the trust.

In a statement, the CWA said the decision was approved at a recent governors' meeting. The change means it will resign as a member of the trust and new members will be appointed, who will appoint new directors. The change will not affect the running of individual academies, students or staff.

CWA's principal David Pomfret said: 'CWA founded the trust in 2010 with the main purpose of supporting the development of education and the life chances of the young people of West Norfolk. Over the past six years we have helped it to grow from a single secondary academy into a multi-academy trust which supports three secondary and six primary academies. Although there is still much work to be done to improve outcomes in the secondary phase, the trust has had some fantastic success in the primary academies, including the notable recent Ofsted judgements for Eastgate and Nelson academies.'

Last month, the King's Lynn Academy - formerly Park High School - was branded 'inadequate' by Ofsted because of poor attainment.

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The school, which became part of the CWA trust in 2010, was told it required improvement in 2011 and 2014.

When the college was inspected in January, Ofsted criticised the quality of teaching and number of students failing to complete their courses. It said the college required improvement.

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Earlier this week, the college announced it had told Downham Market Academy to find a new sponsor after education officials criticised lack of improvement.

Mr Pomfret said the trust was planning to take on additional primary schools and to expand beyond West Norfolk. He added: 'We feel, therefore, that now is an appropriate time for CWA to withdraw and allow the trust to develop further in this direction.'

Dr Duncan Ramsey, chief executive of the CWA Academy Trust, said:

'I would like to thank the College of West Anglia for its vision and commitment in taking the trust to where it is today. I would also like to thank the many CWA staff for the countless hours they have given freely to support the growth of our academies.

'This is an exciting time for the trust and we expect to complete the formalities of appointing new members very soon and will be confirming a new name in the coming weeks. In the meantime, all the academies in the trust will continue to operate as normal, and students and staff will be unaffected by the change.'

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