Revealed: Cavell Primary’s academy conversion cost Norfolk taxpayers thousands of pounds

Rachel Ward, with fellow parent Mark Sayer, campaigned against plans to turn Cavell Primary School i

Rachel Ward, with fellow parent Mark Sayer, campaigned against plans to turn Cavell Primary School into an academy. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

Norfolk County Council has been accused of wasting taxpayers' money after it emerged the interim executive board which oversaw the conversion of a primary school into an academy cost more than £18,000.

The school became an academy on July 1. Photo: Steve Adams.

The school became an academy on July 1. Photo: Steve Adams. - Credit: Archant

The governors of Cavell Primary School, in Norwich, were replaced by a three-member interim executive board (IEB) last year after the school was put into special measures.

The IEB recommended the school become an academy, but a group of campaigners took the fight against academisation to the High Court, where an application for a judicial review of the decision was rejected.

Now, a freedom of information request has revealed the IEB cost £18,247.50. The council said one IEB member was a volunteer, another was a council employee, whose time spent on IEB duties was not included in the figure, and the third was contracted specifically to carry out the role.

A Norfolk County Council spokesperson said: 'The costs of the interim executive board that were appointed at Edith Cavell Primary Academy were higher than normal due to the complex nature of the school's academisation process, so extra expenses had to be assigned to the cost of the challenge made against the academisation process and the judicial review.


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'Additionally, a board with a particular skill set to oversee improvement in this case was appointed.'

Rachel Ward, a parent who campaigned against conversion, said: 'It's just such an incredible sum of money. If [the council] had done what they were supposed to do in the first place, and put the right support systems in place for the school, when it needed it, we would never have got to the stage where they found themselves paying that amount of money.'

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