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Hewett School joins Inspiration Trust

One of Norwich's largest schools to turn into an academy under trust's sponsorship from September

Posted by Stephanie Broad | August 07, 2015 | People, policy, politics

Following long-term concerns about attainment, attendance and pupil numbers, Hewett School will become The Hewett Academy in September under sponsorship by the Inspiration Trust.

The local community will be able to continue use of the school’s facilities, and the uniform will remain unchanged pending a review by the student council. The academy will see a new badge inspired by local philanthropist Mordecai Hewett, and its own governing body to involve MPs and parents in discussions. 

Inspiration Trust chief executive, Rachel de Souza, said: 'We are thrilled by the opportunity to make the Hewett great again for the people of Norwich.

'There is only a short time before the academy opens in September, and we are already busy working with the principal, Tom Leverage, to support his priorities for the Hewett. 

'On his advice we will be refurbishing key areas of the academy this summer, using Inspiration Trust funds, and looking longer term at how we can make the more fundamental improvements the Hewett so desperately needs.

'We are delighted to be keeping the Hewett name, with the new academy known as the Hewett Academy, Norwich, with a new badge inspired by the city's history.”

Despite some local opposition, the Trust is confident that the change will re-invigorate the school and keep the community involved. 

'We know there is great love for the Hewett locally and some nervousness about its future. With his community role and existing experience as a school governor, I have today written to Norwich South MP Clive Lewis inviting him to join the new governing body. 

'We are proud to be stepping up to the challenge of reinvigorating the Hewett, and we hope Mr Lewis will too.' 

The Hewett Academy principal, Tom Leverage, said: 'I know some parents have some concerns about the changes, but for me the most important thing is that we now have certainty for our pupils, our staff, and our school. 

'I have gotten to know the Inspiration Trust during the consultation period, and I am delighted to have their support to take the school forward. 

'I believe keeping the whole site with the school is the right decision, as it is the best way of ensuring the safety of the children in our care and of the community groups that use our facilities.

'Since starting at the school I have spoken to many pupils and parents to hear both what they love about the school and where things could be better. We have already started work to revamp the sixth form. 

'The Trust has promised its full support for my plans as we begin this new chapter in the school's proud history.”    

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