Greenwood Academies Trust set to lose two schools

Greenwood Academies Trust set to lose two schools

The Greenwood Academies Trust will be stripped of two schools after Ofsted questioned its ability to drive improvement without a “balanced portfolio” of academies.

The trust, which runs 31 schools across the east of England and the East Midlands, has now been told by the government to rebroker the City of Derby Academy and Skegness Academy.

It is the latest trust to be criticised for not driving improvement at its most challenging schools.

It was told in December that it had “let down pupils over a number of years” after a focused Ofsted inspection of six of its schools found half required special measures.

Chief executive Wayne Norrie (pictured) said running challenging schools meant the trust “does not have a balanced portfolio.

“Unsurprisingly, in a recent review Ofsted challenged our capacity to provide adequate support to the academies in the group.”

Norrie said that while the trust was “hugely disappointed” it was “vital that we review our portfolio and strive to achieve a balance of schools.

“During this period of change we are working closely with our pupils, staff, parents and trade unions to minimise disruption.”

Ofsted challenged our capacity to provide adequate support to the academies in the group

Parents at the Skegness Academy, in Lincolnshire, have been told that the government has named the David Ross Education Trust (DRET) as the new preferred sponsor.

DRET runs the only other secondary in the town, Skegness Grammar. A spokesperson for the trust told the Lincolnshire Live website that it was completing due diligence for the takeover, but insisted no decision had yet been made and there were still “key areas that need to be explored”.

Schools Week revealed last week that several senior figures at DRET have resigned, including chief executive Wendy Marshall and chair David Blunkett.

Parents at the City of Derby Academy have been told that Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Ashbourne, is the preferred sponsor.

Queen Elizabeth’s did not respond to a request for comment as Schools Week went to press.

Ofsted rated City of Derby inadequate after a focused inspection of the trust in November last year. Inspectors said trustees had “not held leaders to account for continued poor performance, nor kept sound oversight of the school’s improvement and school finances”.

It also found Greenwood, set up in 2009, had not done enough to identify the “weaknesses and needs” of its academies.

But Ofsted said the trust had improved overall effectiveness in 20 schools. The trust said at the time that it accepted the majority of the watchdog’s findings, but was disappointed with the claim that it had let down pupils.