Parents concerned by academy proposals for Murrayfield school in Ipswich

Parents are worried about plans to convert Murrayfield into an academy.

Parents are worried about plans to convert Murrayfield into an academy. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Proposals to convert an Ipswich primary school into an academy have prompted concerns from many parents who fear its recent improvement could be put at risk.

Murrayfield Primary School in Nacton Road was placed in special measures by Ofsted in September 2015 following an inspection. That followed a number of changes of leadership over recent years.

Since that inspection, and under new headteacher Andrew Livingstone, the school has improved – an interim inspection from Ofsted in May said progress was being made.

However government rules say that schools that have been placed in special measures have to become academies as part of their recovery – and Murrayfield is due to become an academy run by the Paradigm Trust from January next year.

The Paradigm Trust already runs the Ipswich Academy secondary school – which has seen a dramatic improvement in GCSE results since it took over in September 2015.

The chief executive of the Trust, and principal of Ipswich Academy, Amanda Phillips is due to meet parents from Murrayfield later this month to explain the proposals.

However parents have spoken about their concern over the plans – and an online petition has attracted 250 signatures from those worried about the proposals for the 300-pupil school.

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Lisa Holder from Felix Road said she was concerned about the future of out of school activities – and was worried that the headteacher may not stay at the school.

She said: “He has done wonders at this school. He was appointed on a temporary basis last year and has really turned it around. He was appointed full time a few months ago.

“We are really worried about what will happen when it becomes an academy.”

A spokeswoman for the Paradigm Trust said Ms Phillips was holding a meeting with parents at the school later this month – she would be outlining its plans and answering questions.

She said: “The Paradigm Trust runs three primary schools in east London. Two of those have been rated as outstanding by Ofsted and one is rated as good. We want to make Murrayfield a very good school.”

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said he had been contacted by some parents and would be meeting them to discuss their concerns.

He said: “Murrayfield has begun to improve and that is a great credit to the people running it but there is a great deal more to do.”