• 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

  • Academy pension review will look at funding gap

    A review launched into academy pension deficits will recommend ways to address the enormous funding gap in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). Schools Week revealed last week that poor investment returns on pensions for support staff have left many multi-academy trusts with deficits amounting to tens of millions of pounds. Now accountancy company PricewaterhouseCoopers

    5.00 Oct. 17th, 2016 | News

  • Let's subvert the 'centres of excellence' policy

    Following Schools Week’s revelation that the government will allow MATs internally to select pupils by ability, Ros McMullen suggests trusts be creative in how they do this. Last week Schools Week ran a front-page story about the possibility of selective grammar schools developing within multi-academy trusts (MATs) without the need for any legislation. The new

    5.00 Oct. 9th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Private schools pledge their support for national MFL training centre

    Private schools have pledged to support a new national teacher training centre for linguists to stave off a “crisis in modern foreign language skills”, writes Jess Staufenberg. The “innovative” school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) will be led by the Silverdale multi-academy trust and is set to open in Sheffield next year. The centre was announced

    5.00 Oct. 8th, 2016 | News

  • Soaring support staff pensions 'could lead to outsourcing'

    Multi-academy trust pension deficits for support staff are soaring into the tens of millions, with schools facing another hike in employer contributions, experts have warned. The largest trusts, one of which has a deficit in their Local Government Pension Scheme [LGPS] in excess of £68 million, might seek to balance costs by outsourcing non-teaching staff

    5.00 Oct. 7th, 2016 | News

  • Academy trust health checks will be rolled out from January, schools commissioner reveals

    The schools commissioner has started piloting multi-academy trust “health checks” and revealed his full masterplan to ensure chains don’t overexpand will be rolled out across the country from January. Sir David Carter, the national schools commissioner, said he plans to run the health checks at more than 30 trusts before the end of the year.

    13.46 Oct. 4th, 2016 | News

  • Multi-Academy Trusts could be the saviour of education in the north

    Successful trusts need to leave their cosy London bubble if education in the north is to improve, says Jonathan Booth. The difference between deprived secondary schools in the north and south is stark. Ofsted called this a “postcode lottery” in its annual report for 2014-15, adding: “What we are seeing is nothing short of a

    5.00 Oct. 3rd, 2016 | Opinion

  • Grammar get-out clause confirmed: selection 'permissible' within trusts

    The government has confirmed it has a grammar school get-out clause that allows academy trusts to filter their brightest pupils to another site, effectively creating selective schools and dodging the need for new laws to be passed. The education green paper introduced by Justine Greening a fortnight ago outlined proposals for multi-academy trusts to move

    5.00 Sep. 30th, 2016 | News

  • Academy trust CEOs reject 'centres of excellence' proposal

    Multi-academy trusts have snubbed government proposals allowing them to move their most able pupils into a “centre of excellence”. The green paper outlines plans for trusts to select within their schools and set up a site to educate the “most able” pupils. The policy, overshadowed by the grammar schools proposals, worries some trust chief executives,

    5.00 Sep. 16th, 2016 | News