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Two Northampton primary schools to become academies in January

Castle Primary School, St Georges Street, Northampton.

Castle Primary School, St Georges Street, Northampton.

Two primary schools in Northampton which are currently in special measures are to become academies next month.

The EMLC Academy Trust, based in Olney, has announced it will act as an academy sponsor of Castle and Hardingstone Primary schools from January 1.

Both primary schools were rated “inadequate” by Ofsted and placed in special measures following inspections early this year.

The trust said it will rename Castle Primary School as Castle Academy and acting headteacher Lorna Beard has been appointed as the full-time headteacher.

Ms Beard said “I feel honoured to have been appointed as principal of the new Castle Academy. I have worked at the school for many years and have been on its turbulent journey.

“I fully believe that we have now started on a pathway to become outstanding and high performing again and I am excited to lead the new academy forward with EMLC Academy Trust.”

Castle Primary School, in Semilong, was hailed one of the most improved schools in the county in 2009 and became the only one in the town centre to be given the top Ofsted rating after inspectors gave it a glowing report.

But only four years later and, 18 months after headteacher Leigh Wolmarans left to take over at Lings Primary School, Castle was rated “inadequate”.

EMLC Academy Trust, which began operating as an academy sponsor in 2012, is also set to sponsor Hardingstone Primary School, which fell from a “good” Ofsted rating to “inadequate” following an inspection in March.

The EMLC Trust sponsors two academies in Milton Keynes, which opened in September 2012.

Trust chairman E George Gyte said “EMLC Academy Trust is delighted to have the privilege of sponsoring academies in Northamptonshire, and is particularly pleased about the recent appointment we have made in Lorna to lead our first academy in Northampton. Many of us at EMLC have worked in Northamptonshire in previous years and are delighted to be back.”

Chief Executive of EMLC, Jan Marshall, said “Lorna Beard has already demonstrated both as a deputy and as an Acting Headteacher that she has the expertise, passion, and flair to lead the new EMLC Castle Academy, and ensure every child will become the best that they can be. She is the first of a new generation of leaders for EMLC Academy Trust”.

 

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