Search

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

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 lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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

9 comments

  • That's one charity that The Charity Commission should conduct a big-time audit and investigation on in short order. Even if everything appears to be "above board" the proposal to waste 900 grand on a public relations series of adverts is, or rather should be unbelievable.

    Report this comment

    koenig

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • Which Dame would that be Muddy?

    Report this comment

    MyOwnViews

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • Dear oh dear oh dear. What an scandal. This Ormiston charity is a handful of schools run from all over the country. How can such a waste of money be justified?

    Report this comment

    Johnboy

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • £900,000 to make the bad look good and bullup whatever is ok , the dame and her cronies need to get their priorities right and just focus on education !! Not propoganda !!

    Report this comment

    Muddy

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • joe_orton i agree, its a business not charity, and education should not be run like one. going to back fire in the future for sure.

    Report this comment

    calmudownboy

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • An amount within Striking distance of £1 million, just to ensure to the public, that the bad look good and the good look better !!

    Report this comment

    Lover of Norfolk

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • Charity?? My a**e.

    Report this comment

    Joe_Orton

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • The Education Funding Authority's grant for Charles Darwin (aims to reach 420 pupils) came to a whopping.....£150,000 (during the pre-opening phase to cover essential pre-opening costs). A strange world eh: one academy gets a measly 150K to open a whole school in an office bock in Norwich's club land...and another thinks PR and good stories needs 6 times that amount....... If they swopped the figures and invested in proper schools in the first place they wouldn't need the massive PR expenditure.

    Report this comment

    Lise

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

  • An absolute waste of our money which should be spent on the children. It makes Norfolk LA look extremely good value re-its schools.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Thursday, February 2, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

Yesterday, 18:15
Visitors take a white-knuckle ride on the Round Up attraction in 1985 at Pleasurewood Hills. Picture: Archant.

Do you have old photographs you would like to share with others or do you simply enjoy viewing snapshots of bygone days from the Lowestoft and Beccles areas?

Yesterday, 16:30
Chief Inspector Nick Paling, right, and PC Adam Binns, outside the first floor flat in Derby Street which has a Closure Order issued by the courts on it as part of Operation Gravity. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

More than 100 suspected drug dealers have been arrested by police in Norfolk as the drive to rid our county of heroin and cocaine gathers pace.

Yesterday, 14:50
Aviva insurance has issued safety advice ahead of Storm Doris. Picture: ANTONY KELLY.

Homeowners and businesses are being advised to take basic precautions to protect themselves and their property ahead of severe weather warnings for Norfolk.

Yesterday, 18:33
File photo of fallen tree.. Picture Simon Parker.

Drivers are being urged to be prepared before setting out on journeys on Thursday with Storm Doris set to sweep across Norfolk and Suffolk with winds in excess of 70mph in some places.

Most Read

Yesterday, 17:35
Daniel Pearce. PHOTO: SUFFOLK POLICE

A 40-year-old man has been jailed for five years after pleading guilty to a burglary in Oulton Broad.

Read more
Ipswich Crown Court
Yesterday, 16:48
Library image of

It’s the apocalyptic nightmare that has been the subject of countless gruesome films and hit shows like The Walking Dead.

Read more
Norfolk Police
Yesterday, 18:15
Visitors take a white-knuckle ride on the Round Up attraction in 1985 at Pleasurewood Hills. Picture: Archant.

Do you have old photographs you would like to share with others or do you simply enjoy viewing snapshots of bygone days from the Lowestoft and Beccles areas?

Read more
Facebook
Yesterday, 15:24
Greater Anglia train. Photo: Sonya Duncan

Football fans travelling between Lowestoft and Norwich for Sunday’s East Anglian derby are advised to check before they travel due to engineering work on the line.

Read more
Lowestoft
Tue, 14:41
James Spittles. Photo: Norfolk Police

Police are appealing for help from the public to trace a man who is wanted.

Read more
Norfolk Police

Most Commented

Yesterday, 16:48
Library image of

It’s the apocalyptic nightmare that has been the subject of countless gruesome films and hit shows like The Walking Dead.

Read more
Norfolk Police

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 3°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter