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School celebrates reopening as academy after half term break

PUBLISHED: 12:54 05 June 2018

Diss Church Of England Junior Academy School.
Headteacher Jo Cerullo with some of the children.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Diss Church Of England Junior Academy School. Headteacher Jo Cerullo with some of the children. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

A school is celebrating an exciting new future as it reopens as an academy.

Diss Church Of England Junior Academy School.
Headteacher Jo Cerullo .
Picture: Nick ButcherDiss Church Of England Junior Academy School. Headteacher Jo Cerullo . Picture: Nick Butcher

Diss Church of England Junior Academy reopened after the half term break as part of the St Benet’s Academy Trust, a new multi-academy trust (MAT) set up by the Diocese of Norwich.

Dickleburgh Primary School also opened as an academy this week and the MAT has set its sights on Harleston Primary School and Archbishop Sancroft High School to join its ranks in the future.

Lee Stevens, chief executive of the trust, said: “We have been planning for this moment for quite a long time, drawing on the experience of the diocese.

“We are really excited about the work Diss Junior School has been doing and we are looking to build on that.

Diss Church Of England Junior Academy School children having fun in the playground.
Picture: Nick ButcherDiss Church Of England Junior Academy School children having fun in the playground. Picture: Nick Butcher

“Our focus will be the groups of staff working together to support each other and building on the practices the school has to really add value.”

The new executive head teacher, Jo Cerullo, who joined the school earlier this term from Kent, also leads the nearby Diss Church of England Infant School which has recently undergone a consultation on joining the MAT, though the outcome of that is still to be determined.

She said: ““I love it in Diss and the children are wonderful and so well behaved and the community has been incredibly welcoming.

“The new academy will be building on all the good work that has already happened.

Diss Church Of England Junior Academy School children having fun in the playground.
Picture: Nick ButcherDiss Church Of England Junior Academy School children having fun in the playground. Picture: Nick Butcher

“The school is already in a much, much stronger place than before.”

The school received an inadequate Ofsted report last year and has since turned its fortunes around.

Deputy head teacher Julia Miles has been at the school for 12 years and is welcoming the new era along with her colleagues.

She said: “It is great to have a new change for the future and a lot of positive energy as well as a supportive network around the school.

Diss Church Of England Junior Academy School children having fun in the playground.
Picture: Nick ButcherDiss Church Of England Junior Academy School children having fun in the playground. Picture: Nick Butcher

“We really welcome the positive way forward and it is going to be great for the future.”

From the children’s point of view, very little will change in the day to day experience of the school, however the MAT says the staff will experience a more supportive environment.

Diss Church Of England Junior Academy School. Headteacher Jo Cerullo with pupils. Picture: Nick ButcherDiss Church Of England Junior Academy School. Headteacher Jo Cerullo with pupils. Picture: Nick Butcher

Diss Church Of England Junior Academy School.
Lee Stevens, CEO of St Benet's Multi Academy Trust.
Picture: Nick ButcherDiss Church Of England Junior Academy School. Lee Stevens, CEO of St Benet's Multi Academy Trust. Picture: Nick Butcher

Diss Church Of England Junior Academy School.
Picture: Nick ButcherDiss Church Of England Junior Academy School. Picture: Nick Butcher

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