Essex

Takeover of schools in Colchester and Brightlingsea

Philip Morant and the Colne Community School Image copyright Google
Image caption The Sigma Trust is taking over the running of Philip Morant School and Colne Community School

A new education trust has been put in charge of two troubled schools which were both rated inadequate by watchdog Ofsted.

The Sigma Trust is taking over the running of Philip Morant School in Colchester and the Colne Community School in Brightlingsea.

Both schools were run by the Thrive Academy Trust.

The decision has been taken by the Regional School Commissioner. Thrive said it welcomed the move.

The appointment of the Sigma Trust follows the suspension of Nardeep Sharma from Colne Community College and Catherine Hutley from Philip Morant School earlier this year while an investigation takes place.

Neil Gallagher, principal at Clacton County High School, is serving as interim executive head teacher at The Colne School until The Sigma Trust is ready to appoint a permanent head teacher.

Image copyright Thrive Academy
Image caption Catherine Hutley (left) and Nardeep Sharma were suspended by Thrive Academy Trust

At Philip Morant, Scott Holder will be appointed as the interim executive head teacher from 1 September 2018.

Mr Holder is currently the co-head teacher at Stanway School and will be stepping down from this position at the end of the summer term.

The Sigma Trust, founded in September 2016, runs seven academies in north east Essex.

Jeff Brindle, chief executive of Sigma, said: "The five secondary schools within The Sigma Trust have a long history of partnership working with both The Colne Community School and College and Philip Morant School and College.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for all the academies involved."

Neil Jones, chair of the Thrive Trust, said: "We are very pleased that the future for the two Thrive Trust schools has been settled.

"We are confident that Sigma is well placed to take both schools forward and will continue to act in the best interests of pupils and staff."

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