WCAT: Outwood Grange confirmed as sponsor for six schools

The Department for Education has confirmed that Outwood Grange Academies Trust (OGAT) will take on six schools given up by the troubled Wakefield City Academies Trust.

But two more schools that had been earmarked to join OGAT have been found alternative sponsors after feedback from parents and staff.

Today’s announcement confirms that Bell Lane Academy, The Freeston Academy, Havercroft Academy, Heath View Academy, Hemsworth Academy and Wakefield City Academy will all join OGAT as planned.

But the government now intends to rebroker Kinsley Academy and West End Academy to the Waterton Academy Trust.

WCAT announcement 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”.

This followed the appointment of a new board in July 2016 to address “significant challenges”, particularly concerning “the quality of education provision”.

In October, it was announced that OGAT would take on eight of the former WCAT schools, including Kinsley and West End.

However, although the two schools have been supported by OGAT in recent months, feedback from staff and parents said the Waterton Academy Trust would be “best suited” to take them on. A two-week consultation will now take place to gather views on having Waterton as sponsor of both.

OGAT, which was established in 2009 from Outwood Grange College of Technology in Wakefield, is ranked in the top 10 highest-performing multi-academy trusts in England in the government’s performance tables.

It currently has 24 academies – 18 secondaries and 6 primaries – across the Tees Valley, Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Sponsors for the first 11 WCAT schools were confirmed earlier this month. A further two await confirmation.

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