Sponsor found for two more WCAT academies

Sponsor found for two more WCAT academies

Two schools formerly run by the Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) have found a new sponsor, leaving just two still without a home.

The Department for Education has confirmed that Kinsley Academy and West End Academy will join the Waterton Academy Trust, but no final decision has been made yet for the future of Mexborough Academy or Balby Carr Community Academy.

The Kingsley and West End academies had been earmarked to join the Outwood Grange Academies Trust along with six other former WCAT schools, but in January the government announced it would instead rebroker them to the Waterton Academy Trust following feedback from parents and staff.

Earlier this month, Schools Week revealed that a private finance initiative contract costing more than £1 million a year was preventing the Mexborough Academy from being taken on by a new sponsor.

The DfE said Delta remains the preferred new trust for Mexborough, and Astrea for Balby Carr. Both academies will remain part of WCAT until they are transferred.

A spokesperson for the DfE said they were “pleased” to confirm that the Waterton Academy Trust would take over the schools.

He added: “The regional schools commissioner is already working to minimise disruption for pupils as these schools transfer to the new trusts and will confirm a trust for the two remaining schools as soon as possible.”

WCAT announced in September 2017 that it was giving up all 21 of its schools, because it lacked “the capacity to facilitate the rapid improvement our academies need and our students deserve”.