Lord Agnew quits the Inspiration Trust due to government workload

PUBLISHED: 16:21 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:23 31 August 2018

Lord Agnew at Great Yarmouth Primary Academy.

 Picture: James Bass

Lord Agnew at Great Yarmouth Primary Academy. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2013

The founding chairman of the Inspiration Trust has resigned as a trustee and member of the Norfolk academy group, saying he needs to focus his time on his government responsibilities.

Lord Theodore Agnew played a key role in setting up the trust six years ago, but says the “substantial workload” in his role as a Parliamentary under secretary of state for the school system means he cannot continue juggling both roles.

In a statement from the Inspiration Trust, which runs 13 schools across Norfolk and Suffolk stated that Lord Agnew, who was knighted in 2015 in recognition of his public service and contribution to education, had been considering his position carefully over the summer.

It said his Department for Education workload and responsibilities meant he had been unable to give the trust as much attention as he would prefer, so had decided to step down ready for the start of the new academic year.

He had stepped down as chairman last September, following his appointment as a minister.

The Inspiration Trust’s chief executive Dame Rachel de Souza said: “We could not have started the trust without Lord Agnew.

“His passion for education, his organisational acumen, and his steel in challenging the status quo were all essential in establishing the Trust as a pioneering family of academies.

“From a single school in Great Yarmouth we have become a family of 13 schools across the region, twice been ranked the top comprehensive schools group in the country for pupil progress to GCSE, and taken many schools from special measures to Good and Outstanding Ofsted reports.

“He has given selflessly of his time and thousands of children in our region have benefitted from his leadership.

“It is a real shame to lose him from the trust, but it is some comfort to know that schools across the country will continue to benefit from his zeal and earnest desire to ensure that all children receive the very best education, regardless of their background.”

Schools which are run by the Inspiration Trust include Great Yarmouth Charter Academy, Jane Austen College, Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form, Thetford Academy, Charles Darwin Primary School, Cromer Academy and Hethersett Academy.

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