Pakefield High School announce plans to become academy

Pakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker. Picture: Nick Butcher

Pakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Pakefield High School has announced plans to become an academy which could see Lowestoft without any local authority controlled secondary schools if the move is approved.

Pakefield High School is to become an academy. Picture: Nick Butcher

Pakefield High School is to become an academy. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

In a letter sent to parents, headteacher Anthony Walker said the school plans to join Clarion Academy Trust following the passing of a resolution at a meeting of senior leadership and governors.

The move is yet to be confirmed by the Department for Education and the headteachers' board but the trust is confident it will be over the next few months with official confirmation possibly coming ahead of the new school year.

Clarion was formed by Hobart High School and joined by Thurlton Primary School in September 2017, with Pakefield the third school of the trust.

Becoming an academy will see Pakefield receive their funding directly from central government rather than rely on money from Suffolk County Council.

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The letter states Pakefield and Hobart have already started to work together and says becoming an academy will allow for a potentially broader curriculum, better extra-curricular activities for students as well as potential for career development and progression for staff.

Mr Walker said in the letter: 'There will be the opportunity to work more efficiently and the ability to make the most of potential economies of scale.

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'In such challenging financial times this is clearly a consideration, although by no means our primary driver.

'For Pakefield this represents a unique opportunity to join a trust that is in its infancy, thereby allowing us to be at the heart of shaping future developments.

He added: 'It is something we are very much looking forward to. It is simply an extension of the work we were doing.

'It really gives us the chance to be at the heart of the trust as partners in collaboration with Hobart while maintaining the school ethos and preserve and enhance that.'

CEO of Clarion Academy Trust and executive headteacher of Hobart Jim Adams said: 'It is about being able to recruit and retain good teachers which will in turn lead to higher outcomes and better life chances for our young people.

'The school has worked collaboratively for many years so it is something that comes quite naturally to us.

'It became very clear that we have a very similar view in terms of our vision and it seemed like a sensible next step to work with them.'

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