Wayland Academy Norfolk issued with funding termination warning

An academy in Norfolk will have its funding stopped and be re-brokered to a new sponsor if it doesn’t improve its performance, government officials say.

The Department for Education has published a termination warning notice issued to the Norfolk Academies trust in relation to Wayland Academy Norfolk.

The notice was issued on July 20, but has only just been published on the DfE’s website, continuing a trend of significant delays to the publication of such documents.

In the notice, Tim Coulson, the former regional schools commissioner for the east of England and north east London, raises doubts about the trust’s ability to turn the school around after it was rated “inadequate” by Ofsted.

The watchdog found that leaders had not done enough to make pupils feel safe at the school, or to ensure regular attendance among all groups of pupils.

The quality of teaching, learning and assessment has varied too widely, and governors’ scrutiny of and challenge to leaders was not sufficient, inspectors found.

In the light of these findings by Ofsted, Coulson said he was “not satisfied that the trust has the capacity to support the rapid and sustained improvement that is required”.

The trust was given until August 9 to make representations to officials, who will now decide whether to terminate the trust’s funding agreement for the school and move it to a new sponsor.

Norfolk Academies is part of the TEN Group, an organisation which also runs City College Norwich and UTC Norfolk. It has four schools, including Wayland Academy.

Dick Palmer, the group’s chief executive, said the trust was “working closely with the regional schools commissioner to best support the academy going forward in order to address the matters raised by Ofsted”.

“The Trust has already put in place a number of measures to address those issues including establishing an executive improvement board and carrying out a number of audits by external organisations. We are confident that the academy is already addressing much of what was raised in the Ofsted Report.”