Thetford Academy changes sponsors to turn around fortunes

Cathy Spillane at Thetford Academy
Cathy Spillane at Thetford Academy

An academy which is in special measures has changed sponsors in a bid to reverse its fortunes.

Thetford Academy, rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted last February, will be sponsored by the Inspiration Trust - a Norfolk Academy chain.

It takes over from Easton and Otley College which has stood down.

In a letter to parents, David Lawrence, principal at Easton and Otley College, said: “After much consideration the initial sponsors concluded that our original sponsorship was not capable of providing the particular level of support colleagues and students required and that it was in the best interests of the students and the Academy to find an alternative arrangement.”

The Inspiration Trust is led by Rachel de Souza, who will work with Thetford Academy principal Cathy Spillane.

Mrs de Souza has been executive principal of Victory Academy, in Norwich, which was recently rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

She said: “Our goal is simple - to give Thetford children the best education possible. I want to see Academy students winning places at the best universities and getting the best jobs.”

Mrs Spillane added: “It is the start of a new era for Thetford students. More resources, more opportunities and expert support for our children. We will be working closely with Mrs de Souza and her team on raising achievement and improving standards - everything needed to make us an outstanding school.” Thetford Academy opens a £19 million new building in September.