Headteacher announces farewell to Fakenham

Fakenham Academy Norfolk, Principal Matthew Parr-Burman
Fakenham Academy Norfolk, Principal Matthew Parr-Burman

The principal of Fakenham Academy has announced he will leave the school at the end of this year.

Matthew Parr-Burman is standing down after six years in the job to take up the role of executive headteacher for the Island Innovation Trust on the Isle of Wight.

The decision, which was announced on Friday, comes just a few weeks after the school celebrated some of its best ever exam results and with record numbers of students now studying in its new sixth form.

But Mr Parr-Burman, who also had a spell as head of the Marshland High School in West Walton, said it was the right time to go.

He said: “I have enjoyed my time at Fakenham and, having spent a third of my teaching career here, it will be hard to leave.

“There have been some huge changes and challenges in the past few years. The school has come through some tough times such as briefly going into special measures and there have been major financial challenges too.

“I am, though, very proud to know that the last five years have been our best ever for results and the size of the school is now growing again having shrunk mainly due to local demographics.”

He added: “I will miss the students and staff and the support of so many parents but it was the right time for me to move on to a new challenge personally.

“Our three girls have been right through Fakenham and onto university and I would like to pass on my thanks to all the teachers here who helped them.

“We will miss Norfolk, but the Isle of Wight is a lovely place to move to and we are looking forward to it very much.”

Officials of the Ten Group, which sponsors the school, have already begun the process of recruiting a successor, who they hope will be in place in the new year.

And they have paid tribute to Mr Parr-Burman’s “exceptional” contribution to the school.

The group said: “As principal, Matthew has overseen year on year improvements in GCSE and A-level results in recent years and has continued the academy’s excellent record of sixth form students securing places at Oxbridge and other top universities.

“With newly refurbished sixth form facilities, and an increase in applications for A-level study, he leaves the academy in excellent shape as he moves on to this exciting new challenge.

“ We wish him the very best in his new role with the Innovation Trust.”