Teachers union slams Gorleston school’s move to academy

Stradbroke Primary School, Gorleston

Stradbroke Primary School, Gorleston - Credit: Archant

Teachers at a school which looks set to become an academy have spoken strongly of their 'disappointment' over the move.

Speaking to the Mercury, members of the National Union of Teachers who work at Stradbroke Primary in Gorleston said they felt their hard work at the school had been overlooked.

They said: 'Given the very real improvements that we have made to our school both before and since the Ofsted inspection, we are very disappointed that, not only has the local education authority given up on us, but gave us no choice over our sponsor.'

They spoke out anonymously, but it is understood that some governors at the school have also voiced concerns about joining the Inspiration Trust, the academy organisation headed by Dame Rachel De Souza.

Chairman of governors Mark Rose has, however, said the move to becoming an academy would mean a 'bright, secure future' for pupils and staff at Stradbroke.

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The primary was placed in special measures in April after being branded 'inadequate' by Ofsted. Inspectors said the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management at the school were not good enough.

In a letter to parents in July, where the idea of joining the Inspiration Trust was made public, governors informed families that the consultation period would take place during the autumn term, adding that joining an academy family was 'in line with expectations from the Department for Education'.

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Last Tuesday Mr Rose and Ian Burchett, who is poised to become principal of Inspiration Trust's new 'medium-sized' high school in Great Yarmouth, met with parents to talk about what the trust can offer.

Parent Jamie Morgan, who has a seven year old daughter at Stradboke, welcomed the move.

The 38-year-old said: 'I am looking forward to the trust offering her experiences that she may not otherwise have a chance to do in the current regime.

'It was obvious that something had to be done as the school has had steadily worsening Ofsted reports. The teachers I have had experience with, which includes the Teaching Assistants, I only have praise for.

'Forget the extended hours issue, the trust and the governors want to and will instil a fresh impetus in learning and education. The governors have been as open as they can be, sending out letters promptly.

'I refuse to listen to allegations against the Inspiration Trust because they are just that, allegations. Furthermore, I am not interested in the moral high ground, all I want is my child to be as well adapted as they can when they finally move onto high school.'

Mr Morgan added: 'I am satisfied with the choice of the Inspiration Trust. I agree with what they stand for. These would have been my preferred option as I have heard many, many more good things than bad.

'Us parents have always moaned and groaned about the lack of school activities, now we finally have that chance, some still aren't happy. It's not about them, it's about the children.'

nWhat do you think about the academy plans? Write to the Editor, Great Yarmouth Mercury, 169 King Street, Yarmouth, NR302PA.

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