Parents pull children out of Great Yarmouth school amid concerns after academy switch

Parents are pulling their children out of class amid concerns about Cobholm Primary Academy

Parents are pulling their children out of class amid concerns about Cobholm Primary Academy - Credit: Archant

Angry parents are pulling their children out of a Great Yarmouth school amid concerns for their education - and say they do not feel safe sending them to class.

Mums and dads with youngsters at Cobholm Primary Academy say they have lost their trust in the school since it was taken over by the Inspiration Trust and feel frustrated by the lack of communication.

Concerns have also been raised about continuity for pupils as parents say a changing rota of supply teachers are now in the classroom, rather than familiar staff faces.

And the situation has become so bad, they say, many are now resorting to pulling their children out and putting them in different schools, or educating them at home until a place can be found for them elsewhere.

Dawn Ryan, a mum-of-four, has one youngster at Cobholm and is among those considering moving them.


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The 46-year-old said: 'Parents are not being informed, teachers are just going left, right and centre and we don't know the reasons why. Our children are there, we need to be informed.

'How can they be expected to learn when they don't know what teacher they're getting from one day to the next?'

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Dad-of-one Alex King, 28, felt the individual needs of children were no longer being addressed and the ethos had become too focused on results.

'The expectations are far too high and the kids have given up,' he said.

Fellow parent Sharon Butterfield, 26, who has three children at the school, added: 'There's just no trust. We're meant to send our children there knowing they're safe and they're not.'

In April 2013 the school was branded inadequate by Ofsted and placed in special measures. Karen Winter was brought in as a temporary headteacher and parents said she had started to turn its fortunes around.

But they were shocked to discover she had been replaced by Craig Avieson saying they were not told about the change.

Ian Burchett, executive principal for the Great Yarmouth Federation of the Inspiration Trust said Cobholm was in 'safe hands'.

'Dr Avieson is putting forward a vision for the school and has held some parents' forums and the whole senior leadership team had a sit down session and the Cobholm community was invited along,' he added.

'I'm slightly surprised people are saying there isn't anything [being communicated] but if the message out there is people feel we need to do more, that's something we'll look into.'

Mr Burchett said the school had had a 'difficult' past and Dr Avieson was focused on raising achievements across all areas, but would not be doing this at the 'expense of anything else'.

He added: 'We know there's going to be people who fear change but in this case it's certainly something Dr Avieson is aware of and he's looking to communicate his vision going forward.'

Mr Burchett said parents were welcome to follow the Trust's complaints procedure if they had a specific concern and added that Mrs Winter had left of her own accord.

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