College sponsors school’s academy bid

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The College of West Anglia (CWA), which has a campus in Wisbech, is sponsoring a King’s Lynn School in becoming an academy.

The board of governors of King Edward VII School (KES) have taken the decision to apply to the Department for Education to become an academy school sponsored by CWA

The decision, taken at a board meeting last week, followed a period in which governors considered a number of options for academy sponsorship before opting to join the CWA Academy Trust, which already sponsors King’s Lynn Academy and Downham Market Academy.

KES head teacher Mike Douglass said: “I am really delighted that we will be seeking to become an academy with CWA as our sponsoring authority. Historically, KES has worked very closely with the college on a number of initiatives and the benefits to the school of extending this partnership will enable KES to reap the benefits of CWA’s expertise in its support for school improvement and formulate closer links with other schools in the CWA Academy Trust.

“We have been considering for some time the best solution for the continued success of the school and, with the government and the local authority keen to see more schools convert to academy status, the KES governors felt it was the right time for us to take this step.”

“We view this opportunity to work with an expert and local partner as a really exciting and golden chance to help support the life chances of young people in West Norfolk and an innovative opportunity to provide a broad, balanced and co-ordinated range of education options pre and post 16.”

CWA principal and chief executive of the CWA Academy Trust David Pomfret said: “We are absolutely delighted that the board of governors at KES have chosen to join our family of academies. The CWA Academy Trust is committed to improving education standards and opportunities in West Norfolk, raising aspiration and providing appropriate accessible pathways into further learning and work.

“Our approach is to develop a mutually-supportive family of academies with strong leadership practices to bring out the best in each other and, most importantly, in all of our students. We have already seen a striking improvement in performance at the King’s Lynn Academy, our first sponsored academy, where GCSE results in June 2013 were the best in their history, and the leadership team at Downham Market Academy, which became an academy in July this year, are making great strides in driving improvement there.”

“The close proximity of KES, King’s Lynn Academy and the college offer exciting opportunities to develop a more co-ordinated and relevant range of education programmes for the young people of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.”

The Department for Education will now decide whether to approve this proposal and the timescale for implementation.