Hewett campaigners urge parents to lobby ministers following government’s academy call

Campaigners have vowed to fight for the future of the Hewett School in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELL

Campaigners have vowed to fight for the future of the Hewett School in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Campaigners meeting for the first time since the government said it wanted a troubled city high school to become an academy have vowed to take their fight to government ministers.

The Hewett School was put into special measures in November following an 'inadequate' rating from school inspectorate Ofsted.

The Department for Education expects schools in this position to become academies, run by a sponsor independent of the local authority, but Norfolk County Council instead pushed for an alternative 'learning village' concept for the Cecil Road site.

Those efforts appeared dead in the water after the government last week rejected the council's proposed interim governors - who were expected to support the learning village idea - and instead named its own interim executive board.

A group of Hewett parents, and Labour and Green Party members, met on Monday night for the first time since the council received the letter from academies minister Lord Nash supporting academy conversion for the school.

Stephen Little, a Hewett parent who helped organise a 750-signature petition in support of the school, and who is also a Green city councillor, said: 'There is a lot of energy and a lot of willingness to challenge the decision.

'We are keen for parents to lobby the Department for Education and Lord Nash, and also local MP Simon Wright, to make sure he can use his influence to get the decision changed.'

Sue Whitaker, a Labour county councillor for the area, and current Hewett governor, said: 'There are a lot of people in the Lakenham area who went there or who have kids there. There's quite a lot of emotional attachment to the Hewett in the area, so we want to get as much publicity locally as we can.'

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Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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