Support shown for Thetford Academy

Members of Friends of Thetford Academy.

Members of Friends of Thetford Academy. - Credit: Archant

Parents, members of the community and councillors have joined forces in a bid to show their support for a struggling academy.

As reported, Thetford Academy, which opened in September 2010 following the closure of Rosemary Musker and Charles Burrell high schools, has been placed in special measures by Ofsted.

It followed a recent visit when inspectors found a raft of problems ranging from 'exceptionally low' science results and below average attendance to teachers' low expectations and an unwillingness by staff to support the school's development.

Rating Thetford Academy inadequate in all areas, Ofsted said it had been operating in difficult conditions following an accelerated opening, a change of principal after just a few months and on a split site with a major building programme to work around.

At the time, academy principal Cathy Spillane and lead sponsor David Lawrence, principal at Easton and Otley College, called on the Thetford community to accept the new school and to ensure their children attended lessons.

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Now, a Friends of Thetford Academy group has been formed.

More than 120 parents of current pupils, parents of potential pupils, people who live in the local area and town and district councillors have already joined the group.

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Matt Parfett, who formed the Friends, said they were ready to support the school in tackling the challenges it faces.

The 38-year-old, who has two teenage daughters at the school, said: 'We are here and the support is 100 per cent there. It's communication which has been lacking, for which everyone has got to take part of the blame.

'As a group, we want to try to engage with the school and to engage with each other better. This is going to bring people together who otherwise may not have spoken to one another.'

Mr Parfett, who is a director of Thetford-based firm TX3, said members of the group plan to hold a meeting later this month to discuss ideas and will be attending the school's parent focus meeting on May 14. He added: 'For the academy to succeed it is imperative that both parents and staff work toward the common goal for a better education for the children.'

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