Ely headteacher’s vision for Lantern Primary School to become outstanding leads it to academy status

Students from Ely College and Lantern Community Primary School with headteacher designate of Lantern

Students from Ely College and Lantern Community Primary School with headteacher designate of Lantern, David Lawrence (on the far left) and principal of Ely College, Richard Spencer (on the far right). - Credit: Archant

An Ely headteacher’s vision for the Lantern Primary School to become outstanding has led it to become an academy.

With a vision for it “not to stand still and stagnate but to move forward and progress from a good school to an outstanding school”, Paul Baddeley received support from the school’s governors.

Earlier this year a meeting was held involving the school’s governing board, members of the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT) and parents of children at The Lantern to outline what the conversion to academy status would mean.

Mr Baddeley said: “When I joined the Lantern as headteacher, due to the proximity of Ely College, I always considered there should be a strong collaboration with Ely College as a way to broaden the Lantern’s resources”.

“From my point of view the Lantern is a good school with its pupils achieving good outcomes, however there is little support or challenge from the local authority (LA) to move the school forward.”

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He recommended to the governing board that the school convert to an academy with CMAT. The governors supported Mr Baddeley’s vision with one, Ruth New, saying that “without strong challenge and support it would be difficult for the Lantern to achieve”.

According to CMAT, the benefits will include pupil transition from Key Stage 2 to 3 being made easier and pupils can move from one classroom to another rather than a new school.

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The school hopes to expand and provide access to science labs, astro turf, drama studio, improved PE lessons and specialised teaching staff.

It will also mean that more than one hall will be available for children to use and, according to DMAT “teachers will know pupils potential and ability and will be able to work with pupils better to achieve their potential and improved collaboration with families”.

The trust says it will give Ely College “the chance to collaborate and look for opportunities to improve both schools and improve pupils’ achievements”.

CMAT was formed in 2011 and consists of: Swavesey Village College, West Town Primary Academy, Nene Park Academy, Sawtry Junior Academ, North Cambridge Academy, Downham Feoffees Primary Academy, Stamford Welland Academy, Bar Hill Primary School, Sawtry Village Academy, Lantern Community Primary School, Ely College, Northstowe Academy & Sixth Form (planned) and Corby Free School (planned).

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