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Incoming leadership team at Suffolk New Academy must draw up plan for school’s improvement

18:09 04 November 2014

Suffolk New Academy

Suffolk New Academy

The new principals at the Suffolk New Academy have less than a week to draw up an improvement plan to present to the Department for Education.

The former Chantry High School announced on yesterday that its principal and vice principal had left. This came after a highly critical report by the Department for Education last year which concluded the academy was in need of significant improvement.

An official statement from the school, which is run by the New Academies Trust, has moved to reassure parents that performance will improve as a result of the shake-up.

The replacement job-sharing principals, Shelagh Potter and Ken Jones, took up their new position on Monday.

Ms Potter has been an independent education consultant since 2004 and has helped raise standards in other academies.

Mr Jones has been a headteacher at schools in Greenwich and Barking and Dagenham. At the Warren Comprehensive School in Barking and Dagenham he raised school results from 35% getting grade A* to C at GCSE, to 84%. He has also worked in quality assurance with Raising Standards Leaders who advise schools on leadership.

The pair have been charged, among other tasks, with working on an improvement plan for the academy which must be presented to the Department for Education by the week commencing November 10.

However, Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, has raised concern that is too short notice.

He said: “The trust now has a job of work to do and they need to provide stable leadership which will bring improved results to the academy.

“They need to think long and hard about this. The job ahead is formidable and needs to be carefully considered rather than acting in haste.”

The trust declined to comment on the length of time the new principals have to compile their report.

Dave Muller, chief executive of the trust, said it was “a very difficult period of change for everyone” but described the new appointments as “very experienced” who will work together to lead the academy.

The school had a disappointing set of results last year with only 24% of students achieving grades A* to C for five GCSEs, including maths and English.


  • They are actually private companies sponsored by the government.

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

  • @Seasidemac. Thank you. I stand corrected.

    Report this comment

    Peter Turtill

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

  • This is a real shame. I'm a former Chantry High pupil and it was a tough school, in a tough area, but they gave a fantastic education to myself and many of my friends. Mr. Page, Ms. Cleary, Mr. Garner, Mr. Cunnell, Mr. Parish, Mr. Horlock - to name a few. They got me to University, and where I am now. I feel so sorry for anyone there now, with how badly it is going wrong (even the multi-coloured wall tiles look like everyone has given up). Very sad.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

  • Not for academies: they're run by the government nothing to do with local authorities

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

  • Education is run by SCC. It is about time they stopped interfering elsewhere and put their own shop in order.

    Report this comment

    Peter Turtill

    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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