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Principal Jon Platten announces retirement after seven years at Open Academy in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 08:52 28 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:01 29 September 2017

Jon Platten, principal of Open Academy in Norwich. PIcture: Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust

Jon Platten, principal of Open Academy in Norwich. PIcture: Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust

Archant

The principal of a Norwich academy is to retire on New Year's Eve after seven years at the helm.

Jon Platten will step down from Open Academy on December 31, with a recruitment process to replace him starting soon.

Mr Platten left Alderman Peel High School in Wells to join Open in 2010, two years after it became the first academy in Norfolk.

He said: “It has been a privilege to be the principal of the Open Academy and to have witnessed its transformation over the last seven years.

“I’m proud to have led two wonderful Norfolk schools and to have left both with more students and higher Ofsted ratings – one of them outstanding.”

He praised the “fantastic” staff and “amazing” students for their hard work and commitment, as well as the governors for their support.

“We have some incredibly talented and inspirational young people here,” he said. “It has been uplifting to see them show leadership and compassion.”

It comes after the school saw disappointing GCSE results this summer, with 40pc of pupils achieving a level four - roughly equivalent to a C - in English and maths.

The year before, 53pc of pupils achieved the equivalent measure.

But the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT), which runs the school, said he had left it in a strong position, with GCSE results up by 18pc, exclusions down by 60pc and its Ofsted rating up to good.

Mary Jane Edwards, who has replaced Paul Dunning as its new chief executive, said they hoped Mr Platten’s replacement could make “as large an impact on the lives of students” as he had.

“We will be sad to say goodbye to Jon but we are all grateful for the excellent way in which he has built such a strong staff team and motivated so many young people to achieve and believe in themselves,” she said. “He has done this by applying a rigorous approach to a set of Christian values that pervade the way the school operates... We wish him well for a long and healthy retirement.”

Fred Corbett, chairman of governors, said the school was in a “poor situation”, with “very low morale and poor Ofsted judgments” before Mr Platten arrived.

He said the principal had turned it into the “positive and supportive place of learning it is today”.

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