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Downham headteacher given new role in school trust merger




A West Norfolk headteacher has taken charge of a second school as part of the merger of two education trusts.

The Cambridgeshire Education Trust (CET), which sponsors the Downham Market Academy (DMA), has joined forces with the Morris Education Trust to form a new body, known as The Learning Alliance (TLA).

And DMA head Rolf Purvis has been appointed executive headteacher of the Witchford Village College, near Ely, in addition to his Downham role. He will also serve as a member of the TLA’s senior leadership team.

Downham Market Academy principal Rolf Purvis, third right, and his senior deputy Mark Eastwood, centre left, are part of the new Learning Alliance's senior leadership team (42551965)
Downham Market Academy principal Rolf Purvis, third right, and his senior deputy Mark Eastwood, centre left, are part of the new Learning Alliance's senior leadership team (42551965)

Mr Purvis said the improvement seen at the DMA and its sixth form, which has been rebranded as the Athena Sixth Form College, since it joined the CET three years ago showed the strength of the new organisation.

He added: “Within the Trust’s team we really do have an enviable wealth of teaching and school improvement experience.”

TLA chief executive Lucy Scott said: “Our new trust is a small purposeful family of schools, each with its own distinct identity which, combined, offer more choice than any other group of schools, enabling every student to pursue their dreams and passions.

Downham Market Academy.. (42552859)
Downham Market Academy.. (42552859)

"What makes TLA so very different is that it is born out of an alliance between two existing trusts, not out of a need for one school to grow.

“Our joint commitment is to being proudly international and internationally minded, serving a diverse community of families, facilitated by our host family network, with a broad, specialist and inclusive provision.

“Our existing schools have long track records for supporting students in achieving their full potential in a happy, respectful and nurturing environment.

“They have reputations for providing excellent professional development opportunities for teachers and staff and, through our merger, we are combining all of this knowledge, experience and insight.”



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