‘Green shoots of improvement’ showing for King’s Lynn schools, bosses of new academy trust claim

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The “green shoots of improvement” are beginning to show for two Lynn secondary schools after a new trust took over their management.

The Eastern Multi-Academy Trust (EMAT) has been launched following the decision of the College of West Anglia to pull out of its sponsorship role earlier this year.

New staff, and schools, are set to join the organisation this autumn.

And its chief executive, Dr Duncan Ramsey, said there were already signs of progress at the trust’s two secondary schools, King’s Lynn Academy (KLA) and the King Edward VII Academy (KES).

He said: “We have made important changes to our strategies for both these high-profile academies and we are already seeing the green shoots of improvement show through.

“There remains more work to be done but I am optimistic for the future.”

As well as KLA and KES, the trust also sponsors six primary academies across West Norfolk. The Downham Market Academy also remains part of the organisation, though a new sponsor is being sought.

The trust signalled its intention to expand beyond West Norfolk in March, when it was announced that the college would withdraw from its role as the organisation’s sponsor.

New schools in the Thetford area are expected to join the trust later this year, though full details have yet to be disclosed.

But the group has announced two new directors of primary education will join the group this autumn.

Paul Shanks, the current head of Gaywood Community Primary School, will oversee the schools in West Norfolk, while Rachel Rudd will be responsible for supporting the Thetford area schools.

Dr Ramsey said the trust wanted to build on the successes of Eastgate Academy in Lynn and Downham’s Nelson Academy, which have progressed from inadequate to outstanding and good respectively in their most recent Ofsted inspections.

Chairman Derek Stringer said he had “enormous faith” in Dr Ramsey and his team to deliver results based on the trust’s new strategies.

He said: “We have the ingredients of a sustainable and successful future.

“I feel that the way the trust operates will help EMAT to achieve success ultimately by delivering excellent outcomes for our most important stakeholders - the pupils who attend our academies.”