Sprowston High announces new parents meeting following concern and confusion over academy conversion

Sprowston High School. Picture: Denise Bradley

Sprowston High School. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

Parents at one of Norfolk's biggest schools have raised concerns about the process for it to become an academy.

Sprowston Community High School headteacher Andrew John. Photo: Steve Adams

Sprowston Community High School headteacher Andrew John. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

Sprowston High School is one of the few non-academy secondary schools in greater Norwich, but that could change after it announced a consultation on joining the Norwich-based Right for Success Trust.

However, a meeting with parents on July 8 appeared to sow confusion and leave questions answered, with one person even calling for headteacher Andrew John to resign.

Since then, the school has extended the consultation period to September 18, and this week announced new 'parents workshops' on September 7.

One point of contention was how long the 1,371-pupil school had been in talks with Right for Success about converting. Some parents left the July 8 meeting thinking secret talks had been underway for 18 to 24 months.

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Speaking after the meeting, Mr John said the school had been working with the teaching school at Eaton Hall Specialist Academy, where Right for Success is based, on school improvement over that period, but a governors' sub group had been looking at the school's future since its 2013 Ofsted report.

Jess Mayes, who has two daughters at the school, said parents were surprised the school needed an outside sponsor, because its latest Ofsted report, in May found that, despite requiring improvement, senior leaders were 'demonstrating success in driving improvement'.

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Right for Success is due to take on its first mainstream high school, Sewell Park College, in September.

Mrs Mayes said: 'Sprowston is moving forward without that, and to become an academy with a trust with no experience at secondary level, it's an experiment, and Sprowston is a huge school. I just don't think Right for Success have the experience to deal with it.'

Another parent said he did not have confidence parents' views would be listened to, and they had not been given evidence or facts about the proposal.

He said: 'I'm none the wiser if we should be an academy or not.'

What do you think should happen to Sprowston High School? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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