‘Inadequate’ King's Lynn school to be taken over by Inspiration Trust

King Edward VII Academy in King's Lynn.

King Edward VII Academy in King's Lynn. - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk school told to improve by Ofsted inspectors is to transfer to one of the region’s biggest academy trusts. 

The Inspiration Trust, a multi-academy trust supporting 14 schools across Norfolk and north Suffolk, has announced plans to take over the running of King Edward VII Academy in King’s Lynn.

The school, which is currently part of the Eastern Multi-Academy Trust and has just under 1,100 pupils, was rated ‘inadequate’ at its last full Ofsted inspection in 2019.

The King Edward VII Academy Board of Trustees has decided to seek a voluntary transfer to another trust after discussions with the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC). 

It is anticipated that the transfer of the school into the multi-academy trust will be completed by September 1 in time for the start of next year’s intake.

Gareth Stevens, chief executive of Inspiration Trust

Gareth Stevens, chief executive of Inspiration Trust. - Credit: Inspiration Trust

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Gareth Stevens, chief executive of Inspiration Trust, said: “The academy will be our first in the King’s Lynn area and we’re pleased that local young people will soon be able to benefit from our knowledge-rich curriculum, breadth of cultural experiences and talented teachers.

“We are committed to making sure every child receives an excellent education and we’ll be supporting the school on its journey to ‘outstanding’.”

In 2019 Ofsted inspectors identified serious weaknesses and that teaching was not good enough and absence rates were high.

King Edward VII Academy in King's Lynn.

King Edward VII Academy in King's Lynn which is to transfer to the Inspiration multi-academy trust. - Credit: Archant

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However a remote monitoring visit in January found progress had been made and the school was “taking effective action” to provide education in the current circumstances.

Paul Shanks, acting chief executive of Eastern Multi-Academy Trust, said after taking the “difficult decision” to work with RSC on a voluntary transfer they looked forward to seeing the academy “build on its many strengths”.

He added: “We continue to work with the academy to support its continued improvement journey and look forward to fostering a close working relationship with Inspiration Trust as the term progresses to ensure a smooth transition for students and colleagues."

King Edward VII Academy principal Sarah Hartshorn.

King Edward VII Academy principal Sarah Hartshorn. - Credit: Eastern Multi-Academy Trust

School principal Sarah Hartshorn said: "Having worked with the Inspiration family for three years previously, I am delighted about the opportunity of working with them again. It is a positive move for the school and the local community. 

“I continue to be excited about the journey King Edward VII Academy is on, with the support of Inspiration Trust I can see our already evident progress being accelerated and us becoming, once again, the school of choice in King’s Lynn."

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