• Fraud police drop Bright Tribe investigation

    Fraud police have dropped their investigation into the Bright Tribe academy trust, Schools Week can reveal. The investigation was launched after a Panorama probe accused the trust, founded by businessman Michael Dwan, of making false claims for hundreds of thousands of pounds for building and maintenance government grants. They’ve previously said they can’t release such

    7.00 Sep. 25th, 2020 | News

  • DfE didn’t look into failed UTC’s finances

    The government chose not to investigate when auditors were unable to properly scrutinise the finances of a failed university technical college. Accounts for the Greater Manchester UTC for 2016-17, published last month after missing the deadline by more than a year, reveal auditors gave a rare “disclaimer of opinion” on the state of the UTC’s

    11.00 Apr. 26th, 2019 | News

  • Bright Tribe emails reveal ‘upsetting’ treatment of campaigning parent

    A former Bright Tribe boss told the headteacher of Whitehaven Academy to “think” about the application of a campaigner’s son to continue into its sixth form. The comment was made in an email from the trust’s former chief operating officer Mary McKeeman after inquiries from parent Julie Rayson regarding to whom Rayson should report concerns

    5.00 Jan. 26th, 2019 | News

  • Bright Tribe probe ‘will be published’, vows academies minister

    An investigation by the Education and Skills Funding Agency into allegations of wrongdoing at the doomed Bright Tribe trust will be made public after all of the chain’s schools have moved to new sponsors, the academies minister has pledged. In an exclusive interview with Schools Week, Lord Agnew said the under-fire trust had been “too

    5.00 Dec. 2nd, 2018 | News

  • It's a Dwan deal: Trust founder's brother gets rent-free premises for nursery

    A failed academy trust gave the brother of its founder rent-free premises for ten years to run a private nursery on the site of one its schools. The Adventure Learning Academy Trust (ALAT), the sister-trust of the crisis-hit Bright Tribe Trust, signed a deal to let a nursery company owned by Andrew Dwan, brother of

    5.00 Nov. 30th, 2018 | News

  • Bright Tribe to lose name under merger with Adventure Learning Academies Trust

    The under-fire Bright Tribe Academy Trust is planning to ditch its name and merge with its sister chain as it prepares to abandon all but one of its northern schools. Stockport-based Bright Tribe plans to merge with the Adventure Learning Academies Trust (ALAT), which runs one secondary school and four primary schools across Cornwall. According

    5.00 May. 13th, 2018 | News

  • Police investigations continue into Bright Tribe and WCAT

    Police officers are continuing their enquiries into whether criminal offences have been committed either by the Bright Tribe Trust or Wakefield City Academy Trust. Bright Tribe and WCAT were both reported to police last year over allegations of financial impropriety, though the latter has been cleared of wrongdoing by government auditors. Enquiries into Bright Tribe

    17.00 Mar. 16th, 2018 | News

  • Council demands £1m from MAT that abandoned a failing school

    A local authority is demanding the £1 million the government gave a MAT to take over failing schools in the north-east after it abandoned one and left it in a similar amount of debt. Bright Tribe had been lined up to take over Haydon Bridge High School since it was put in special measures in

    5.00 Dec. 16th, 2017 | News

  • Kathy Kirkham resigns as chief executive of Bright Tribe

    The chief executive of Bright Tribe academy trust, Kathy Kirkham, has resigned. Kirkham has stood down from her role heading the academy trust following a turbulent few months – including a government investigation and the trust pulling out of sponsoring two struggling schools. A Bright Tribe spokesperson said the move was long-planned, with Kirkham having

    10.58 Feb. 23rd, 2017 | News

  • Bright Tribe walks away from struggling schools in north

    A trust has pulled out of sponsoring two struggling schools in the north of England – despite being given extra cash by ministers to help in such circumstances. Bright Tribe has walked away from taking over Fyndoune community college and Durham community business college, which form a federation in north-east England. The secondaries were put

    5.00 Dec. 8th, 2016 | News

  • Academy sponsored by 'top-performing' Bright Tribe 'placed in special measures'

    An academy run by a trust given extra government funding after being lauded by ministers has been put in special measures, with school staff issuing a vote of no confidence in the academy chain. More than 50 staff members at Whitehaven Academy, in Cumbria, have written an open letter today criticising the school’s sponsor Bright

    17.25 Nov. 25th, 2016 | News