Norwich academy chain named as proposed sponsor for Sewell Park College

Sewell Park College. Picture: Denise Bradley

Sewell Park College. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

A Norfolk academy chain which runs three primaries and a special needs school has been chosen as the prospective sponsor of a troubled Norwich high school.

Valerie Moore, chief executive of Right for Success, which is based at Eaton Hall School

Valerie Moore, chief executive of Right for Success, which is based at Eaton Hall School - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012

Teaching unions have expressed concern about whether the Right for Success Trust's lack of experience running a mainstream secondary school gives it the ability secure the future of Sewell Park College.

It was put in special measures after Ofsted judged it 'inadequate', which the Department for Education (DfE) expects to lead to academy conversion under an outside sponsor.

John Catton, chairman of the interim executive board (IEB) which replaced the school's governors last summer, said: 'The DfE, which runs the process, proposed to the IEB that Right for Success would be an appropriate sponsor for Sewell Park Academy.

'The IEB made enquiries then resolved to confirm to the DfE that Right for Success was our preferred sponsor.'

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'We are now awaiting for the department to issue the academy order and we have plans in place to meet with staff, and separately with parents, at the earliest possible opportunity once the order has been received.'

Right for Success, based at Eaton Hall School in Norwich, runs Cavell Primary and Stalham Academy, and was due to take over Tuckswood Primary School on March 1.

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Chief executive Valerie Moore declined to comment on Sewell Park, because an academy order has not yet been made, but said: 'I believe the Right for Success Trust does have at its disposal personnel with the skills and acumen to support a mainstream high school.'

Russell Hammond, deputy county secretary of the teachers' union the NASUWT, said he believed Right for Success was the only local chain interested in sponsoring the school.

He said: 'We have concerns they have not got experience of running a secondary school. They have experience of running a special school and primary schools.

'They have not talked to the staff or community, so we don't know whether it will be right for the school.'

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