Norfolk academy sees 81 pupils leave in just nine months - as more than 70 join

Barry Smith, principal of Great Yarmouth Charter Academy. Picture: Archant

Barry Smith, principal of Great Yarmouth Charter Academy. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A controversial Great Yarmouth academy has seen 81 pupils leave the school roll in the academic year so far, figures show.

Norfolk County Council has published data on Great Yarmouth Charter Academy that shows it received 81 of what are called CMEI notifications in the nine months from September 6, 2017, to June 6 this year.

A CME1 is a notification that a child has left the roll of a school and does not mean that they are missing education.

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However the Inspiration Trust, which runs the academy, was keen to point out that in fact more than 70 pupils had joined the school since the beginning of the academic year.

A break down of further figures show 38 pupils had been removed from the roll to be home educated, five who had been permanently excluded and 32 had been transferred to other schools.

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The academy, in its first academic year, has seen headteacher Barry Smith bring in a strict new rules on uniform and haircuts, banning one style called “Meet Me at McDonald’s” favoured by some boys.

In November it was also revealed under a Freedom of Information Request, 41 children were removed from the register at the academy, on Salisbury Road, between September 6 and October 10.

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Inspiration Trust spokesman James Goffin said: “These misleading figures ignore more than 70 pupils who have chosen to join Great Yarmouth Charter Academy since September because they and their families recognise the impressive turnaround in behaviour and attendance that means teachers can focus on teaching and improving academic standards.

“We are disappointed that some families decided to move elsewhere but we respect their right to do so.

“There has been a doubling in the number of pupils home educated across the whole of Norfolk in the last six years, and the recent figures for Charter are a reflection of that long-term general trend.”