Charity sponsor of 10 academies in Norfolk and Suffolk could spend £900,000 on PR agency

PUBLISHED: 14:51 02 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:19 03 February 2017

Cliff Park Ormiston Academy

Picture: James Bass

Cliff Park Ormiston Academy Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

A charity which sponsors 10 academies in Norfolk and Suffolk is looking to spend as much as £900,000 on a public relations agency.

Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) supports 31 academies around the country, including six in Norfolk and four in Suffolk.

It has now issued a tender document for “marketing, media relations and crisis management services”, which would run for two years with an option to extend for another year, according to PR Week.

The contract would be worth an estimated £900,000, excluding VAT, and would include helping to prepare “good news stories”, it says.

The trust’s schools have hit the headlines in recent years.

In March 2015, a teaching assistant was jailed after she hacked into two pupils’ email accounts and made a bomb threat at Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey.

The same school came under fire after claims it was given unfair advance notice of inspections in 2013.

A 12-year-old girl was also taken out of classes at Ormiston Venture Academy in Gorleston in 2015 because the heels on her shoes did not match the school’s uniform policy.

Two years earlier, teachers at Ormiston Maritime Academy - in Grimsby - resigned after an investigation into claims they used the school’s IT system to send inappropriate photographs.

A spokesperson for OAT said the figure would be the “very upper limit” of the contract cost and that they currently spend £163 per month per academy on PR.

“This is to provide long term flexibility, but we do not anticipate spending this much,” they spokesperson said.

“OAT chooses to outsource elements of professional services support in this way as we are determined to get best value for money and ensure our teaching staff are able to stay focused on delivering the highest standards of education for our students.”

They said they had a “strong reputation for taking on some of the toughest challenges in education”.

Scott Lyons, joint division secretary for the Norfolk National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: “We are surprised by this as the NUT has been really pleased with what Ormiston schools are doing - in particular with staff recruitment.

“We would question where this money is coming from and ask whether it should really be spent on branding.”

Do you have an education story? Email

The trust’s schools in Norfolk and Suffolk are:

• Ormiston Victory Academy, Costessey

• City of Norwich School

• Ormiston Venture Academy, Gorleston

• Edward Worlledge Ormiston Academy, Great Yarmouth

• Ormiston Herman Academy, Gorleston

• Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, Gorleston

• Ormiston Denes Academy, Lowestoft

• Ormiston Endeavour Academy, Ipswich

• Stoke High School, Ipswich

• Ormiston Sudbury Academy, Sudbury

Other news


A Suffolk acid attack victim is demanding tighter regulations and tougher punishments after a woman was temporarily blinded when two men threw a “noxious substance” in her face.


A popular attraction stepped back in time to welcome some vintage vehicles as more than 1,000 visitors were entertained.


After a fine turnout of runners took part in an inaugural half marathon, keen competitors are preparing to take up the challenge in aid of charity once more.

Two new pieces of specially-carved stonework have been unveiled at the Bethel to begin celebrations marking 50 years of the Lowestoft Players.

Most Read

Yesterday, 17:30

Hundreds gathered to pay their respects to a well-loved sportsman in Beccles.

Read more

A new state-of-the-art signalling system is to be installed on train lines in the Norwich, Yarmouth and Lowestoft areas.

Read more

A Suffolk acid attack victim is demanding tighter regulations and tougher punishments after a woman was temporarily blinded when two men threw a “noxious substance” in her face.

Read more

Police are appealing for witnesses and information following the assault of a woman in her 20s in Bungay.

Read more

Children and staff at a Lowestoft-area primary school have helped others in need and made a special presentation during an assembly.

Read more
Salvation Army

Later in Life


Click here to view
the Later in Life


Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 14°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter