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New academy in Lowestoft ‘will inspire’

PUBLISHED: 15:48 11 March 2011

Howard Lay, a former Kirkley High School pupil and now headteacher of the 'outstanding' Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill, who will oversee the running of Kirkley's new academy.

Howard Lay, a former Kirkley High School pupil and now headteacher of the 'outstanding' Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill, who will oversee the running of Kirkley's new academy.

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MOVES to transform Lowestoft’s biggest school into Waveney’s first academy will help to ‘inspire young people to make their best better’, the organisation backing it said this week.

As revealed in last week’s Journal, Kirkley High School will assume academy status from September under major changes being sponsored by the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET).

This week, Mike Barnett, publicity consultant for AET, said the trust was “delighted” to become the sponsor, and said the changes planned would have a positive impact on the school and community.

“Working closely with Suffolk County Council, our united aim is to promote at Kirkley Community High an academy for Lowestoft which will ‘inspire young people to make their best better’,” he said.

“We are committed to offering them an excellent education through the application of tried, tested and very successful school organisation and an outstanding curriculum.

“We have a proven track record of working closely with many schools throughout the country for nearly a decade to achieve significant improvements in standards; and, more recently, in developing an expanding federation of academies in south east England, providing the opportunity for all learners to fulfil their real potential and become active, prosperous and successful citizens.”

Mr Barnett said the number of students at Kirkley would rise from 800 to 1,000 as part of the move towards 11-16 education, and teaching staff would transfer to the new academy on September 1.

“In the meantime there is a lot of work to do to ensure the smooth transition from a high school to an academy,” he added.

AET says that from September, the new academy will also be working “very closely” with the “outstanding” Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill, bringing its headteacher back to where his schooling began.

As a former Kirkley High pupil, Howard Lay admitted Lowestoft was very close to his heart and he was “looking forward” to returning to his home town. “I was at Kirkley when it was a secondary modern school and I was one out of a handful in our year group of 300 that got into higher education,” he told The Journal.

Mr Lay, a former head of sixth at Benjamin Britten, stressed the link-up was a mutual partnership.

“I will be remaining head of Samuel Ward Academy as this is very much a supportive role working with the staff.

“This is not a takeover. It is a long term partnership, a long-term commitment which we’re in for the long haul.”

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