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Piper's Vale primary school in Ipswich to become academy under Paradigm Trust

PUBLISHED: 16:49 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 19:32 27 February 2017

Piper's Vale Community Primary School, Ipswich.

Piper's Vale Community Primary School, Ipswich.

The east London academy trust which runs Ipswich Academy is set to take over another under-performing primary school in the Nacton area of Ipswich.

Piper’s Vale Community Primary School, rated ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted, will join Murrayfield primary under the Paradigm Trust banner.

Piper’s Vale headteacher, Paul Arch, said it was the best action to take. He said: “We wanted to build on the improvements being made.

“This is why the school’s governors, in cooperation with the local authority and the regional schools commissioner, made the joint decision to apply to the Department for Education (DfE) to request that Piper’s Vale became part of a multi-academy trust.”

The decision was approved last November, a report by the East of England and North-East London Headteacher Board, published this month, confirmed. The conversion date has not been set.

It is understood that if the Paradigm Trust proved to be a successful sponsor of Ipswich Academy, which has seen its Ofsted ranking and exam results improve, it would be allowed to take over nearby primaries.

The trust took the former Holywells High School from special measures to ‘requires improvement’, the old satisfactory rating, in 14 months.

Murrayfield was ranked ‘inadequate’ in November 2015 and taken over by the trust last December. It awaits reinspection.

The Paradigm Trust runs three schools in deprived areas of east London, ranked ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’. The other one also awaits reinspection.

Mr Arch added: “I have visited the primary schools and was very impressed by what I saw – so impressed that we have already adopted some of their approaches to teaching. Our pupils will benefit under the trust from a consistent approach to teaching from nursery to the end of year 11.

“The trust’s key values and its approaches to delivering the curriculum are also very much in line with ours.”

NUT executive member for Suffolk, Graham White, said the Murrayfield conversion was “unpopular” with some parents, partly due to no consultation.

Mr Arch said letters were sent to all parents explaining it was believed this was the “most effective” course of action.

A DfE spokesman said: “The Regional Schools Commissioner is working with the school in question and Suffolk County Council to ensure a strong sponsor is secured for the school serving the community.”

Suffolk County Council declined to comment. The Paradigm Trust was unable to comment at this stage.

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