• DfE spent £50k trying to hide academy chief vetting failure

    The Department for Education spent almost £50,000 attempting to keep secret its failure to properly vet a businessman it allowed to run an academy trust that later collapsed. Johnson Kane co-founded the Education Fellowship Trust in 2012, and became chief executive for its 12 schools and 6,500 children until its closed six years later. The

    5.00 Apr. 27th, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: Struggling academies offered help from resource management advisers

    Academies in financial difficulty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic may be offered help from the government’s cost-cutting advisers. In a letter to academy trust accounting officers, Education and Skills Funding Agency boss Eileen Milner said government “may be able to assist” schools in trouble by matching them with a school resource management adviser.

    11.08 Apr. 21st, 2020 | News

  • Coronavirus: Put academy conversions on hold, says councils' body

    Academy conversions should be put on hold so that councils can focus on supporting schools to stay open, according to the body representing local authorities. The Local Government Association believes council time spent on dealing with conversions of maintained schools into academies is “undermining council efforts to coordinate sufficient school places for vulnerable children and

    0.01 Apr. 10th, 2020 | News

  • Academy orders 'flawed' as 1 in 4 schools improve before help arrives

    Over a quarter of schools inspected by Ofsted after receiving an academy order improved while “in limbo” waiting to join a trust, leading experts to brand the system as “flawed”. According to Ofsted’s annual report, 97 of the 170 schools with looming academy orders have been re-inspected – meaning they hadn’t been academised within up

    5.00 Mar. 9th, 2020 | News

  • Investigation: Gagging orders demanded in controversial rebrokers 

    Academy trusts looking to take over scandal-hit schools have been asked to sign “gagging orders”, an investigation by Schools Week can reveal. This newspaper has seen a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) signed by a trust involved in taking over a school. The NDA insisted none of the information gained during due diligence could be made public

    5.02 Feb. 28th, 2020 | News

  • Academy rebrokerage process needs reform, says departing trust boss

    The government must reform its academy transfer approval process to allow both sides more time to work out if they fit, the outgoing boss of one of England’s fastest-growing chains has said. Frank Norris, until recently the director of the Co-operative Academies Trust, said chains such as his were being rushed into takeovers that did

    5.00 Sep. 15th, 2019 | News

  • Lilac Sky investigation report STILL not published

    The Department for Education has failed to meet its own pledge to publish a long-awaited investigation report into a defunct academy trust. The nine-school Lilac Sky Schools Academy Trust (LSSAT) shut in 2017 amid a government investigation into allegations of financial malpractice. Publishing findings is an important part of this and our aim is to

    7.00 Sep. 14th, 2019 | News

  • Ministers have U-turned on 33 attempts to force schools to become academies

    The government has revoked more than 30 academy orders, some after schools have spent years in limbo and often after they have been at the centre of fierce battles over their futures, a Schools Week investigation has found. Analysis of government data obtained under the freedom of information act found 33 schools have spent more

    15.00 Apr. 5th, 2019 | News

  • Holland Park school spent £15k on Farrow & Ball paint and £6k on Jo Malone candles

    A state school is facing potential government action after a Schools Week investigation unearthed thousands of pounds have been lavished on designer candles, luxury paint and furnishings from a bespoke interior design store. Holland Park School, dubbed the “socialist Eton” and based in Kensington, west London, spent almost £15,000 on luxury Farrow & Ball paint

    5.00 Mar. 22nd, 2019 | News

  • OECD chief: England isn’t making the most of academies

    England’s academies are failing to capitalise on the “best ideas”, says the OECD’s head of education, calling for more opportunities for teachers to share knowledge and participate in research. In an exclusive interview with Schools Week, Andreas Schleicher warned that teachers in England “have very little time for other things than teaching”, which harmed retention

    5.00 Mar. 2nd, 2019 | News

  • Investigation: The highs (and occasional lows) of academy CEO pay

    Nearly half of the academy trusts ordered by the government to justify high salaries paid their chief executives more last year. Three paid their leaders an extra £40,000 or more, with another handing out a £26,000 bonus – despite the trust shedding schools. Just one in seven paid their chief executives less last year, although

    5.00 Mar. 1st, 2019 | News