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Fakenham Academy principal to step down and take up new role on the Isle of Wight

PUBLISHED: 11:30 15 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:06 15 September 2017

Fakenham Academy headteacher Matthew Parr-Burman. Picture: Ian Burt

Fakenham Academy headteacher Matthew Parr-Burman. Picture: Ian Burt

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The principal of a Norfolk academy is to step down and take up a new post on the Isle of Wight.

Matthew Parr-Burman has been in the top job at Fakenham Academy since 2011, having served as deputy headteacher between 2003 and 2007.

But in the new year he will take on the role of executive headteacher of the Island Innovation Trust, which is based on the Isle of Wight.

A job advert for his replacement was posted by the Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN) Group on Friday, looking for an “experienced school leader who will relish the challenge of moving Fakenham Academy from good to outstanding”.

Mr Parr-Burman said: “I have enjoyed my time at Fakenham and having spent a third of my teaching career here it will be hard to leave.

“There have been some huge changes and challenges in the past few years. The school has come through some tough times such as briefly going into special measures and there have been major financial challenges too.

“I am though very proud to know that the last five years have been our best ever for results and the size of the school is now growing again, having shrunk, mainly, due to local demographics.”
He said he would miss the students, staff and parents, but it was the right time for a new challenge.

“Our three girls have been right through Fakenham and onto university and I would like to pass on my thanks to all the teachers here who helped them,” he added. “We will miss Norfolk, having lived here for 14-plus years but the Isle of Wight is a lovely place to move to and we are looking forward to it very much.”

The school was rated good by Ofsted in 2015, having been told it was inadequate when it was still a high school in 2013.

Its GCSE results have also improved - in 2012, they were among some of the worst nationally, but this year 64pc of students passed English and maths.

The TEN Group thanked Mr Parr-Burman for his “exceptional contribution” to the college, which included “year on year improvements in GCSE and A-level results”.

Mr Parr-Burman will be leaving at Christmas and a replacement will be in post for the new year.

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