Academy trust plans £3.25m boost after taking over King's Lynn school

King Edward VII Academy in King's Lynn.

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

An academy trust that has taken over the running of a Norfolk school told to improve by Ofsted inspectors says it expects it to be rated ‘outstanding’ within three years.

The Inspiration Trust says it has secured £3.25m for improvements at King Edward VII Academy in King’s Lynn.

The school, which was previously part of the Eastern Multi-Academy Trust and has just under 1,300 pupils, including about 300 sixth formers, was rated ‘inadequate’ at its last full Ofsted inspection in 2019.

Gareth Stevens, chief executive of Inspiration Trust

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

Gareth Stevens, chief executive of Inspiration Trust, said: “We will ensure the school continues to improve, with the expectation the school will be judged outstanding within three years. 

"There is an incredibly close bond between the community of Kings Lynn and King Edward VII, so it is our responsibility to ensure King Edward VII is at the epicentre of academic excellence in west Norfolk.”

The transfer was first proposed in the spring before being approved by regional school commissioners to start from the start of the new autumn term. 

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

Mr Stevens said the trust, which already runs 14 schools across Norfolk and north Suffolk, was “working closely” with the Department of Education over multi-million pound funding in order to “bring our vision to reality”. 


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The planned investments will include new state-of-the-art ICT, new drama and music studios and new science laboratories.

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

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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.

King Edward VII Academy principal Sarah Hartshorn.

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

Formerly King Edward VII Grammar, the school can trace its origins back to the sixteenth century and was described as a “sleeping giant” ready to be awoken by principal Sarah Hartshorn.

She said: "I would like to publicly thank both trusts for making this transfer as seamless as possible. 

“Working so hard collectively over the summer to ensure we reached this point before the start of the new term. Myself and my team are very excited about this next stage in King Edward VII journey."

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