Hethersett Academy “an absolute success story” - national schools commissioner Sir David Carter

National Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter, visits Hethersett Academy. Photo: Keith Whitmore

National Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter, visits Hethersett Academy. Photo: Keith Whitmore - Credit: Keith Whitmore

One of the most powerful figures in the government's academies programme has praised the success of Hethersett Academy.

Yesterday's trip by Sir David Carter, who became national schools commissioner in February, was part of a visit to the Inspiration Trust which also saw him go to the Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form in Norwich.

He said the record of Hethersett Academy, which recently saw its Ofsted grade rise from 'inadequate' to 'outstanding', demonstrated what schools can do when they have three key things in place: leadership that is good, leadership that has an impact on teaching, and a strong trust behind it to give it the capacity for further improvement.

He added: 'I think it's an absolute success story for this part of the country and the region.' He later met Inspiration heads, and said one reason for visiting was to see how others could learn from it.

Asked if he would like to see Inspiration Trust expand outside its Norfolk and Waveney territory and sponsor schools in other regions, as a recent government White Paper suggested some good local trusts could do, Sir David said: 'My first answer would be that would be a matter for them entirely.


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'I think there should be a degree of caution about trusts going too fast and growing beyond their immediate locality. I think there are probably other ways in which the quality I have seen the team has developed being used to help and influence and help other trusts without having to take over schools in other parts of the region.'

During his visit, Sir David would not comment on the government's controversial, and now modified, plan for all schools to become academies by 2022.

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