• Academy trusts told to avoid isolated academies

    The government has issued its firmest statement yet that trusts should avoid running geographically isolated schools, raising serious questions over who will operate the far-flung academies that nobody wants. The first “good practice guide” for multi-academy trusts (MATs) was published last week, revealing what conditions trusts must meet to expand. The guidance also revealed that

    5.00 Dec. 17th, 2016 | News

  • Newham schools consider suing council over £500k PFI costs

    Two schools are considering high court action to settle a row with their local authority over a disputed PFI bill they claim has stalled their academy conversion. Rokeby School and Lister Community School, in the London borough of Newham, want to convert and form a multi-academy trust, with plans to take over the Newham Collegiate

    17.38 Dec. 8th, 2016 | News

  • Carter: £140m funding pot shows shift from 'mass conversion to mass improvement'

    Sir David Carter, the national schools commissioner, has said the new £140 million strategic school improvement fund proves the government’s intentions have shifted from “mass conversion to mass improvement”. The Department for Education announced the pot of funding on Wednesday, which Carter explained today will go towards four targeted issues. Carter said the cash aims to create “less patchy”

    11.52 Dec. 2nd, 2016 | News

  • Try before you buy: the new way for multi-academy trusts to takeover schools

    Academy trusts are taking struggling schools on loan for a year as part of a “try before you buy” scheme. Multi-academy trusts (MATs) are being signed up on short-term deals to provide leadership support for schools enduring turbulent times, allowing both parties to scope each other out before a possible takeover. Speaking at the National

    5.00 Nov. 25th, 2016 | News

  • What schools need to know about the apprenticeship levy

    Don’t think that the new levy is all about big business, warns John Deaville. All schools, regardless of size, will feel its impact. Most people are – at least vaguely – aware that the apprenticeship levy, which will be introduced in April 2017, is a payroll tax to fund apprenticeship training, paid by any organisation

    5.00 Nov. 20th, 2016 | Opinion

  • More business managers need to train for future senior roles

    More school business managers must “aspire” to become senior executives as the rise in multi-academy trusts – and damaging financial scandals – require greater scrutiny of school accounts, says Stephen Morales, chief executive of the National Association of School Business Management (NASBM). Morales (pictured) told Schools Week at the association’s annual conference in Birmingham this

    5.00 Nov. 14th, 2016 | News

  • New Aldridge Education trust ditches struggling academy

    A cash-strapped school has been ditched by the new academy trust founded by its sponsor, leaving the government to search for a trust with better local resources. The Isle of Portland Aldridge community academy (IPACA), in Dorset, was set to join the multi-academy trust (MAT) founded by its lead sponsor, the Aldridge Foundation, in January.

    5.00 Nov. 12th, 2016 | News

  • Academy trusts should 'exchange' back office services

    Shared services are logical, Marcus Robinson, a partner at professional services firm PwC told delegates at the 2nd annual MAT summit. “But they typically fall down because most people, and most organisations, are happy for others to share their services but aren’t prepared to go and share from others.” As schools face squeezed budgets, shared

    5.00 Oct. 24th, 2016 | News

  • Academy trusts wanting cash to grow 'rejected' by DfE

    Cash handouts to help academy trusts expand are not reaching all the chains that want them, says a senior government official. Applications for the latest round of sponsor capacity funding – government cash available for trusts that want to take over new schools – closed in July. But a senior government official told the MAT

    5.00 Oct. 24th, 2016 | News

  • Education can make you (and me) sick, says David Blunkett

    The stress of working in education can make people ill, former education secretary David Blunkett told academy leaders this week, as he recounted how a fear of union conferences contributed to his own physical battles. Speaking at the MAT Summit 2016 in Windsor, run by Optimus, Blunkett (pictured) said that he was surprised when he

    5.00 Oct. 23rd, 2016 | News

  • David Carter: The weakest academies will be supported not 'shamed'

    The country’s 100 weakest academies will be singled out for increased government scrutiny from January as the schools commissioner ramps up implementation of his masterplan to improve failing schools. Schools Week can reveal that the 100 secondary academies with the lowest Progress 8 scores, which we understand will be known as the “P100”, are to

    5.00 Oct. 21st, 2016 | News