• MPs’ stern warning over ‘incoherent’ system and costly, ‘risky’ academisation

    A powerful committee of MPs has warned that the government failed to properly scrutinise the early stages of the academies programme and has not learned from its high-profile failures. A report by the parliamentary public accounts committee into the government’s record on converting schools into academies found the Department for Education “did not pay enough attention”

    0.01 Jul. 11th, 2018 | News

  • Academy autonomy 'has no positive impact in the classroom'

    Almost half of academy leaders believe that the extra autonomy granted to academies has no positive impact in the classroom, according to new analysis by the Sutton Trust. Thirty per cent of academy senior leaders who took part in a poll on the additional autonomy that comes from academy status said it had “no effect”

    0.01 Apr. 19th, 2018 | News

  • Investigation: The ups and downs of academy CEO pay

    Our annual analysis of chief executive pay in the largest academy chains once again reveals huge variations, including between men and women, and pay per pupil and school. We looked at trusts with more than 20 schools in 2016-17.  Sir Dan Moynihan of the Harris federation came top of all CEOs for salary, with a

    19.40 Mar. 22nd, 2018 | News

  • DfE doesn't check whether academy leaders are 'fit and proper'

    Academy trustees and senior leaders are not being properly vetted for their suitability to run schools, the government’s spending watchdog has warned. Labour MP Meg Hillier, the chair of the powerful public accounts committee said she was “concerned” by the latest report from the National Audit Office, which found that people taking senior jobs at

    0.02 Feb. 22nd, 2018 | News

  • National Audit Office academies report: The key findings

    The system used by the government to convert local authority-maintained schools into academies is under National Audit Office scrutiny. The government spending watchdog has published a report looking at the progress of the academies programme, in the context of recent moves to increase the number of academies across England. In the March 2016 white paper

    0.01 Feb. 22nd, 2018 | News

  • Trustees beware: know your legal duties!

    If there is a single part of the academy system that needs our urgent attention, it is trusteeship, argues Leora Cruddas There is still much that is misunderstood about the differences between governing a local authority-maintained school, governing a single academy trust and governing a multi-academy trust. At its most extreme, this lack of understanding

    5.00 Feb. 6th, 2018 | Opinion

  • RSC pushed to rebroker WCAT schools NINE months before official announcements

    The regional schools commissioner first pushed to remove schools from Wakefield City Academies trust in December 2016, though it took nine more months before any official announcements were made, Schools Week can exclusively reveal. A report from a WCAT board meeting on December 14, 2016, obtained by Freedom of Information requests, shows that Jennifer Bexon-Smith,

    17.04 Oct. 10th, 2017 | News

  • Plymouth CAST receives financial notice to improve

    One of England’s largest academy chains has been issued with a financial notice to improve by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Plymouth CAST, an academy trust that runs 35 schools, has had its spending powers restricted and been ordered to address “weak financial management and inadequate governance”. The trust, which is one of the government’s

    15.11 Sep. 22nd, 2017 | News

  • WCAT to give away all 21 of its schools

    The Wakefield City Academies Trust is giving up all 21 of its schools, shocking staff, parents and pupils as the first term of the 2017-18 school year begins. A statement from the trust’s board said that after a “robust period of review and evaluation of all aspects of the organisation”, it had “requested that the

    12.54 Sep. 8th, 2017 | News

  • High Court ruling threatens Ofsted's ability to publish negative reports

    Schools receiving negative Ofsted reports are now more likely to attempt to block them, solicitors have warned in the wake of a landmark High Court ruling. Durand Academy last week succeeded in its effort to quash an ‘inadequate’ grade handed out by the inspectorate earlier this year, and Lee Bolton Monier-Williams, the firm that acted on its

    17.00 Aug. 14th, 2017 | News

  • Judge: Durand management may have taken 'eye off the ball' over EFA squabble

    Management at the under-fire Durand Academy may have taken its eyes “off the ball” due to an ongoing conflict with the Education Funding Agency, a judge has said. The school has won a legal bid at the High Court to have its ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating quashed, after a judicial review found that the watchdog’s complaints procedure

    11.33 Aug. 14th, 2017 | News