East Anglian academy chain to bring year 10 students back in August

The Inspiration Trust's secondary schools in Norfolk and Suffolk will reopen for year 10s in mid-August, the chain's CEO has announced.

Dame Rachel de Souza tweeted that the move was part of their efforts to help students catch up following the coronavirus lockdown, along with lessons on a Saturday.

She said: "All Inspiration Trust secondary schools have started Saturday school for Y10 and they will be returning mid August.

"It’s not difficult and we know how to catch and keep up - it is simply putting in the time at normal school...and let’s get sport facilities at schools open ASAP too."

Dame Rachel has backed a five point plan for returning schools to normal from campaign group Parents and Teachers for Excellence (PTE), which she co-founded.

As well as Saturday lessons and an August restart, the plan also calls for attendance to be compulsory, the opening of sports grounds and government cash to pay teachers for overtime work, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Sharing the article on Twitter, Dame Rachel said: "We need to be as creative as possible in getting the nations children back to school quickly."

Inspiration Trust schools:

  • Charles Darwin Primary, Norwich

  • Cobholm Primary Academy, Great Yarmouth

  • Great Yarmouth Primary Academy

  • Norwich Primary Academy

  • Stradbroke Primary Academy, Gorleston

  • Cromer Academy

  • East Point Academy, Lowestoft

  • Great Yarmouth Charter Academy

  • Hethersett Academy

  • The Hewett Academy, Norwich

  • Jane Austen College, Norwich

  • The Thetford Academy

  • Wayland Academy

  • Sir Isaac Newston Sixth Form, Norwich

Saturday lessons for year 10 pupils, who will face GCSE exams next year, restarted at the trust's eight secondaries on 27 June.

Thetford Academy saw 67 students turn up for the catch-up lessons, according to principal Dan Carter.

Responding to Dame Rachel's call for schools to return in August, the Department for Education reiterated their desire to see all students back in September.

A spokesperson said: “Last week, secondary schools began welcoming back year 10 and year 12 pupils and primary schools now have the flexibility to invite more children back if they have capacity, as part of our phased plans which are guided by the latest scientific advice.

“We will shortly be publishing further details to help schools prepare for September.”