• Schools halt redundancy plans amid coronavirus outbreak

    Schools are halting redundancy plans as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause unprecedented disruption across the nation. Harris Federation – one of the country’s largest trusts – is among those calling off crunch talks with employees. The reality is that there would only have been a tiny number of redundancies, if any, across our 48

    5.00 Mar. 27th, 2020 | News

  • UTC turns the tables and comes to the aid of a MAT

    A north-west England university technical college has become the latest of its type to move towards joining a multi-academy trust – but this time the tables have turned. The leader of UTC Warrington, Lee Barber, has been appointed by the North West Academies Trust (NWAT) to be the interim headteacher of Rudheath Senior Academy, following

    6.00 Mar. 21st, 2020 | News

  • After the storm: Who clears up when academy trusts collapse?

    “I went through a calendar with someone in the first week and said: ‘I can see there is a training day at a strange point in the year, what’s that for?’,” Jo Saxton, chief executive of Turner Schools, recalls. Her trust had just taken over two schools from the Lilac Sky academy trust, which shut

    5.00 Feb. 17th, 2020 | News

  • Academy trust loses spending records after finance system switch

    An academy trust appears to have lost access to financial data from longer than two years ago after changing its management systems. A director at the University of Wolverhampton Multi Academy Trust told Schools Week the trust no longer has a license to access its previous financial system, and so could not fully respond to

    15.00 Jun. 14th, 2019 | News

  • Former academies minister faces accusation of cronyism

    Former academies minister Lord Nash has been accused of “threatening to allow” an academy trust to “become financially unviable” unless it appointed his former business associate as chair. Steve Munby, former chief executive of CfBT Schools Trust, which sponsors CST Academy Trust, has revealed the tale in his new book, accusing Nash of “abusing his

    17.00 Jun. 14th, 2019 | News

  • Academy trust raids £7.7m reserves to resist cuts

    An academy trust has set aside half of its reserves to prop up its budget rather than make cuts to balance its books. Trustees at Southfields MAT used £1 million from its reserves last year as a “contribution” to the budget of Southfields Academy, and plan to use another £3 million until 2020-21. Reserves will

    5.00 Mar. 9th, 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

  • Kerching! The academy trusts raising millions through fundraising

    Academy trusts are raising millions of pounds through fundraising, with one trust posting “record” levels of parental donations. Sector leaders say the findings, based on annual accounts for some of the country’s biggest trusts, show there is a “deepening social divide” as government funding is squeezed. Ormiston Academies Trust has received £2.7 million since April

    5.00 Feb. 17th, 2019 | News

  • Academy trust criticised for taking on debt-ridden schools

    An academy trust urged to expand by its regional schools commissioner was later rapped by the government for taking on schools that were struggling with debt. Board minutes from September 2017 to September 2018 for the Nova Education Trust show that it was encouraged to expand by John Edwards, the RSC for East Midlands and

    7.00 Feb. 15th, 2019 | News

  • DfE shells out £27m to prop up struggling academies

    The government handed out nearly £4.5 million to prop up cash-strapped academies run by the failed Schools Company Trust during the year it announced closure. A Schools Week investigation has also uncovered that the new trusts brought in to take over the Schools Company academies will now be saddled with repaying most of the debt.

    5.00 Feb. 15th, 2019 | News

  • Trust hopes PGCE ‘franchise’ will boost Russell Group grad recruitment

    A trust is in talks to “franchise” a university’s PGCE programme, allowing it to dodge UCAS recruitment and target more Russell Group graduates. The STEP academy trust, which has 14 primary academies in south London and East Sussex, is finalising an agreement with the University of Buckingham to deliver its PGCE programme. The arrangement is

    7.00 Feb. 8th, 2019 | News