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Norwich MP vents anger at the government's plan to turn Hewett School into an academy

Hewett School. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A Norwich MP has spoken out against the government's plans to turn one the city's biggest schools into an academy.

The Education Secretary has signed an order which will turn the Hewett School into an academy.

Simon Wright, who's the MP for Norwich South, has said he thinks the government isn't taking the needs of the local community into account.

But the council said this isn't a final decision and has urged parents to have their say.

Simon Wright (far right) is angry about the plans. Credit: PA

“The strength of commitment to the Hewett School from parents and the wider community is immense. Hundreds of people have signed petitions, written letters and gathered at meetings to voice their support for the school.

I am angry that the future of the school is being driven by a Whitehall agenda, and specifically by an unelected former venture capitalist from the House of Lords who knows little about Norwich.

These decisions should be driven by our democratically accountable Local Education Authority. However, I would urge all parents to continue to make their concerns known.

There will inevitably be opportunities for parents to take part in meetings with the Interim Executive Board to ask questions and to put forward concerns about the proposal. I strongly encourage parents to take part in this process.

Until a funding agreement has been signed, the future of the school is not final.”

– Simon Wright MP

School visit for supersonic car to inspire the next generation of engineers

The Bloodhound supersonic car Credit: ITV News Anglia

A full scale model of the Bloodhound supersonic car will be on show at a school in Hertfordshire today.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers will be taking the car to the Simon Balle School in Hertford.

The full-scale model of the Bloodhound SSC car will be on display to help raise awareness among schoolchildren about the Bloodhound SSC project and its aims to inspire a generation about science and engineering.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers is one of the key sponsors of Bloodhound SSC, which aims to break the world land speed record of 763 mph later this year before its 1,000 mph run in South Africa in 2016.

"We need to encourage more young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths to ensure we have the right skills to keep the country's economy growing and to tackle the big challenges facing humankind like rising population and climate change. At the moment the number of people pursuing STEM careers is just not enough to meet future demands, which is why inspiring young people through the Bloodhound SSC project is so important."

– James Hobbs, Institute of Mechanical Engineers


More than 2,000 people back campaign against academy plans for Norwich school

The Hewett School in Norwich. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition against a Norwich school being taken over by an academy trust.

The Department for Education wants to hand over The Hewett School to the Norfolk-based Inspiration Trust following a critical Ofsted report.

The move is being opposed by parents, teachers and Norfolk County Council.

The "We're Backing Hewett" campaign group has so far collected more than 2,000 signatures in just nine days.

The petition says the school should remain "owned by the people of Norwich; not given away against the wishes of parents, pupils and the local community".

Uncertain future for Norwich's last Council run school

There's uncertainty over the future of one of the last council-run secondary schools in Norwich after councillors pulled back from taking the Government to court over plans to turn it into an academy.

The Government wants to force the change after the Hewett School was put into special measures in November. But there's been a furious reaction to taking the school out of council control.

Protestors say it would become "an exam factory" and goes against the wishes of parents, pupils and the local community.

County councillors were expected to launch a judicial review but this afternoon postponed the decision.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Natalie Gray

Burst water main closes five schools

Huxlow Science College, Irthlingborough is closed because of the burst water main Credit: ITV News Anglia

Five schools in Northamptonshire have been closed today because of a burst water main.

Finedon Infant School, Finedon Mulso CEVA Junior School, Huxlow Science College, Irthlingborough Junior School and Irthlingborough Nursery and Infant School have all been shut.

The two schools in Finedon say they will text parents when the water is back on.

More information can be found at the county council website.


£7 million expansion for school to keep up with growing demand for places

Gladstone Primary officially unveiled its new building Credit: ITV News Anglia

Parts of our region have some of the fastest population growth in the country and in some areas that's putting pressure on services like schools.

Milton Keynes and Peterborough are the fastest growing places in the UK.

Peterborough has the second highest birthrate and it's seen a 50% rise in school population in the last 5 years.

Now one primary- Gladstone school, has tackled the huge demand for places with a £7.4 million expansion.

The expansion cost £7.4 million Credit: ITV News Anglia

£2.6 million came from Government grants and another £4.8 million from Peterborough City Council to fund the new school facilities.

Sudbury school reveals winner of mock election

More than 1,100 students have taken part in a mock election at Thomas Gainsborough School in Sudbury this afternoon.

It followed a special debate which involved a panel of local parliamentary candidates from the area.

Student posting their vote in mock election Credit: ITV News Anglia

Full results of mock election below:

  • UKIP - 272 votes (23%)
  • Conservative - 252 votes (22%)
  • Labour - 247 votes (21%)
  • Lib Dem - 246 votes (21%)
  • Green - 151 votes (13%)

Students give MP candidates an election grilling

School election debate at Thomas Gainsborough School in Sudbury Credit: ITV News Anglia

Students at a high school in Suffolk have been questioning the candidates hoping to be elected as MP at the General Election in May.

Among the topics covered in the hour-long debate were the economy and jobs, ending the monarchy and the question of leaving the European Union.

Thomas Gainsborough School in Sudbury has also been holding a mock election.

Watch the full debate between students and candidates by clicking below

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