Head leaves Edith Cavell Academy to lead new federation of north Norfolk schools

Edith Cavell Academy and Nursery. Photo: Steve Adams.

Edith Cavell Academy and Nursery. Photo: Steve Adams. - Credit: Archant

The headteacher of a primary school which was at the centre of a row over its conversion to an academy has announced he is leaving, less than a year after it was taken over by an outside sponsor.

Simon Wakeman, headteacher of the Edith Cavell Academy. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Simon Wakeman, headteacher of the Edith Cavell Academy. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

Parents at Edith Cavell Academy on Duckett Close, Norwich, have been told that Simon Wakeman is moving on to become the executive headteacher of a new federation of schools being created in north Norfolk.

Mr Wakeman, who has been at Cavell for six years, said his decision to leave was not related to the school's academisation, or its new sponsor, the Right for Success Trust, which is based at Eaton Hall Specialist Academy.

The controversy over the future of Cavell Primary School was reported in the national press, and MPs highlighted it in a report on academies published before the general election.

The school was put on the path to academisation after being put into special measures in May 2013, but the process was opposed by a vocal local campaign.

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It formally became an academy on July 1, 2014, despite having come out of special measures several months earlier.

Mr Wakeman said: 'The school is in a strong position moving forward. We are anticipating an improvement on last year's results, and we hope that will lead to a positive outcome at the next inspection.

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'Staff are all working very hard, as we have been throughout.

'There is a plan in place for a successional leadership at the school, and I see that as being part of the next stage of the school's improvement journey.'

He said the school has two strong deputy heads who will be taking on the leadership role while the head of school post is advertised.

Mr Wakeman is due to start his new post in September.

He will be the first executive headteacher of the new federation being created between Mundesley Infant, Mundesley Junior and Bacton Primary Schools, all of whose headteachers are retiring.

The as yet un-named federation will also include two pre-schools, and a behaviour unit.

He said he was looking forward to the challenge of creating the federation, and added: 'It's the right time for someone else to take over the leadership of [Cavell].'

In a letter to parents, Valerie Moore, chief executive of Right for Success, said: 'This will be an exciting challenge for Mr Wakeman but one that we are convinced he will manage exceptionally well.'

She quoted Mr Wakeman as saying that 'being a member of staff at Edith Cavell is more than merely a job; it's a vocation.'

What do you think? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, Norwich Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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