Heads of Suffolk New Academy in Ipswich leave school suddenly

Suffolk new academy

Suffolk new academy - Credit: Lucy taylor

Parents and pupils at the 900-student Suffolk New Academy, formerly Chantry High, have been left stunned after it was announced that both the principal and the vice principal had left suddenly.

Andrew Fell has stepped down as principal after 10 years of working in the school having overseen the schools’s transformation into an academy and securing a new building.

An official statement from the school said he “felt it was time to move on”.

It was then revealed vice principal Jamie Daniels has left because his post has been made redundant.

Dave Muller, chief executive of the New Academies Trust which runs the school in Mallard Way, admitted it was “a very difficult period of change for everyone” but said he wanted to reassure parents and the public that the quality of education for pupils remains the top priority.

“We have appointed two very experienced individuals to work together to lead the academy and to submit an improvement plan to the Department for Education by week commencing November 10,” he said.

“I realise this is a significant change for pupils, parents and the community of Chantry and I wish Andrew and Jamie the very best for the future.”

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The Department for Education has recently rated the academy in need of significant improvement after last year’s results in which only 24% of students achieved grades A* to C for five GCSEs, including maths and English.

Two replacements, Shelagh Potter and Ken Jones, have been brought in as interims to cover the principal role. They started in the role on Monday. The trust would not disclose any more information on these replacements.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer praised the departing principal Andrew Fell for the long campaign he led for the new building, adding: “I would like to thank him for his work at Chantry and at Suffolk New Academy.”

He added that the job ahead is “formidable and needs to be carefully considered rather than acting in haste”.