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Familiar face announced as new principal at Norwich academy

PUBLISHED: 10:50 24 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:17 24 March 2018

Jon Ford, pictured outside Downham Market Academy in 2013. Picture: Matt Usher

Jon Ford, pictured outside Downham Market Academy in 2013. Picture: Matt Usher

© Archant Norfolk 2013

A former principal in west Norfolk has been appointed as the new lead at a Norwich academy.

Jon Platten, former principal of Open Academy. Picture: Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies TrustJon Platten, former principal of Open Academy. Picture: Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust

In September, Jon Platten announced he would be retiring from Open Academy at the end of 2017, having led the school for seven years.

Since then, acting principal Betsy Fowler has been in post at the school, which is run by the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT).

But the trust has now confirmed that Jon Ford will take over the permanent role later this year.

A spokesperson for DNEAT said: “We are pleased to announce the appointment of Jon Ford to the post of principal at Open Academy. Jon will take up post at the beginning of the autumn term and brings a wealth of experience and passion.”

Mr Ford formerly taught at Downam Market Academy in west Norfolk, but stepped down towards the end of 2016 as the school struggled to come back from poor results.

MORE: Principal Jon Platten announces retirement after seven years at Open Academy

At the time, David Promfret, chief executive of the school’s then-sponsor the College of West Anglia academy trust, said: “In spite of the undoubted commitment, passion and hard work of Jon and his team, results at the academy did not improve during 2015 and 2016, and the need for rapid improvement was further underlined in feedback following the visit.”

He thanked Mr Ford for his commitment, and said the school had improved under his leadership.

When Mr Platten announced his retirement from Open last autumn, he said it had been a privilege to “witness [the school’s] transformation over the last seven years”.

MORE: Cofounder of Norfolk’s first academy says ‘disaster school’ was transformed by change, 10 years on

DNEAT said Mr Platten had left the school in a strong position, with GCSE results up by 18pc, exclusions down by 60pc and a good Ofsted rating.

The school did see a drop in its GCSE results last summer, with 40pc of pupils achieving a level four - roughly equivalent to a C - in English and maths.

The year before, 53pc of pupils achieved the equivalent measure.

• Do you have news about your school that you think we should be writing about? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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