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New trust takes charge of Fenland schools

A new trust has taken over the management of two village schools near Wisbech.

The Eastern Multi-Academy Trust (EMAT) has been launched following the decision of the College of West Anglia to pull out of its sponsorship role earlier this year.

The trust will sponsor the Emneth and Upwell academies, along with four other primaries and three secondary schools in West Norfolk.

And chief executive Dr Duncan Ramsey said the trust wanted to build on the successes of Eastgate Academy in King’s Lynn and Downham’s Nelson Academy, which have progressed from inadequate to outstanding and good respectively in their most recent Ofsted inspections.

Chairman Derek Stringer said he had “enormous faith” in Dr Ramsey and his team to deliver results based on the trust’s new strategies.

He said: “We have the ingredients of a sustainable and successful future.

“I feel that the way the trust operates will help EMAT to achieve success ultimately by delivering excellent outcomes for our most important stakeholders - the pupils who attend our academies.”

The trust signalled its intention to expand beyond West Norfolk in March, when it was announced that the college would withdraw from its role as the organisation’s sponsor.

New schools in the Thetford area are expected to join the trust later this year, though full details have yet to be disclosed.

But the group has announced two new directors of primary education will join the group this autumn.

Paul Shanks, the current head of Gaywood Community Primary School in King’s Lynn, will oversee the schools in West Norfolk, while Rachel Rudd will be responsible for supporting the Thetford area schools.

The trust says it has also made strategic changes to its plans for the King’s Lynn Academy and the King Edward VII Academy.

Dr Ramsey said: “We are already seeing the green shoots of improvement show through. There remains more work to be done but I am optimistic for the future.”

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