We can move on without College of West Anglia, says head of academies trust

The College of West Anglia in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The College of West Anglia in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The boss of an academies trust insists it parted company with its founding college over its desire to expand its stable of primary schools.

The King's Lynn-based College of West Anglia (CWA) today announced it was resigning from the CWA Academies Trust, which it founded in 2010.

It comes after one of its schools was rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted, another was told to seek a new sponsor and the college itself was told it required improvement.

Meanwhile, two of the trust's six primary schools - Nelson and Eastgate academies - have recently been rated as good and outstanding.

Dr Duncan Ramsey, chief executive of the CWA trust, said: 'What's happened is the primaries have done really well. The regional schools commissioner says the trust is one of the best in the east of England and he wants more primaries to experience that.' Dr Ramsey said that while the trust was looking to expand by taking on primary schools in other areas, the college was focussed on West Norfolk.

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Announcing its resignation earlier today, college principal David Pomfret said: 'The trust is planning to take on additional primary schools in the near future and to expand beyond West Norfolk.

'We feel, therefore, that now is an appropriate time for CWA to withdraw and allow the trust to develop further in this direction.'

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Two days ago, the trust announced it had decided to ask Downham Market Academy to seek a new sponsor.

It came after a warning from the regional schools commissioner that improvements were not being carried out quickly enough.

Dr Ramsey said: 'It was one of the most-improved schools in the country. There might be other trusts better placed than us to get it to outstanding.'

Dr Ramsey said schools within the trust would not be affected by the college's departure.

He said: 'We're going to run ourselves. We've been given the opportunity to set up on our own.

'This is an exciting time for the trust and we expect to complete the formalities of appointing new members very soon and will be confirming a new name in the coming weeks.'

The trust comprises King's Lynn, King Edward VII, Downham Market, Emneth, Eastgate, Nelson, North Wootton, Southery and Upwell academies.

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