• DfE paid £490k to rebroker three failing Steiner schools

    The government paid out almost half a million pounds in grant funding to rebroker three failing Steiner schools, new data shows. Steiner free schools in Bristol, Exeter and Frome were moved to the Avanti Schools Trust last year after all three were placed into special measures by Ofsted. The schools are now called Avanti Gardens

    12.29 Jul. 16th, 2020 | News

  • ESFA raps trust that spent £2.4k on wellbeing conference and spa break for senior staff

    An academy trust that spent over £2,400 on a wellbeing conference and spa break for senior managers has been ordered by the government to take “urgent action” to resolve issues with its financial management. The Education and Skills Funding Agency has published a report of an investigation into the Learning Academy Partnership (South West), a

    15.34 Jul. 15th, 2020 | News

  • 'Orphan' school shunned by 3 sponsors rated 'inadequate' - again

    An “orphan” school that has been waiting nine years for a sponsor after being shunned by three academy trusts has been rated ‘inadequate’ again. Ofsted inspectors found a “sizeable minority” of pupils at Hanson School, in Bradford, do not “regularly follow the rules”, with disadvantaged youngsters not achieving “as well as they should”. The 1,600-pupil

    10.15 Jul. 7th, 2020 | News

  • 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