East of England RSC warns 7 schools over standards and threatens one with takeover

Seven schools in the east of England were handed warning notices within the space of 5 days, with one told it could be removed from its sponsor.

A raft of letters issued to schools in the area between October 12 and 16 by regional schools commissioner (RSC) Tim Coulson has been published today by the Department for Education.

In contrast, only eight such warnings were issued across the entire country during the 2014/15 academic year, signalling a stepping-up of intervention from the RSC.

Warning notices are issued to schools when education secretary Nicky Morgan believes their standards are ‘unacceptably low’.

The Chafford School in Rainham received a ‘termination warning’, which means it must demonstrate ‘rapidly’ improving pupil progress and put in place strategies to performance issues by December 1, or otherwise face termination of its funding agreement.

Seven schools received standard warning letters, including the Saxmundham and Beccles free schools in Suffolk, whose sponsor the Seckford Trust ordered a review in September following disappointing GCSE results in August.

It also includes Norfolk’s Diamond and Admiral Academies, which are both run by the Academies Transformation Trust, a chain which was only given the go-ahead to expand last December after being ‘paused’ by the government.

Other schools warned over their standards include Castle Manor Academy in Suffolk and City Academy Norwich in Norfolk.

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  1. Janet Downs

    None of these academies have been judged Inadequate. True, their results are low but in one particular case, City Academy Norwich, the intake was heavily skewed to the bottom end in 2013/14 (40% previously low attaining pupils and only 8% previously high attainers).
    If schools are being judged on results alone then why bother with Ofsted?
    That said, it will be interesting to see if Inspirations Academies Trust, the rapidly growing Norfolk chain connected to Tory donor Sir Theodore Agnew and much-favoured Dame Rachel de Souza, will bid to take over the Norfolk academies under threat. It could even expand over the border into Suffolk.