• 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

  • DfE multi-academy trust league tables: Who are the best and worst performers?

    The Department for Education has today published its own “league tables” for multi-academy trusts, fulfilling a manifesto pledge and promises by ministers for more transparency over the academies programme. The publication of the data confirms a series of earlier analysis by experts that shows there are large differences between the performance of academy chains. For

    12.20 Jul. 7th, 2016 | News

  • 20 large academy trusts 'underperforming', new league tables reveal

    Twenty of the largest multi-academy trusts (MATs) – running more than 300 schools – fall “significantly below” the national average for improving pupils’ attainment, a major new analysis comparing the performance of MATs and councils has found. The findings, published today by think tank the Education Policy Institute (EPI), revealed stark variations in the performance

    0.01 Jul. 7th, 2016 | News