• DfE gave academy trust £500k despite serious concerns about finances

    Senior Department for Education officials were alerted to a string of concerns at a high-profile academy trust before it was handed more than £500,000 under a flagship government policy for “top performing” sponsors. In November 2015, Nicky Morgan, the then education secretary, announced Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) as one of five “outstanding” sponsors to

    7.00 Mar. 8th, 2019 | News

  • WCAT broke funding rules a year before its collapse, DfE review finds

    The doomed Wakefield City Academy Trust broke government funding rules 16 times in 2016, according to a review of the chain’s finances. A review of financial management and governance at WCAT details a string of failures at the ailing trust, which announced last year it was walking away from all of its schools. The report

    15.55 Nov. 15th, 2018 | News

  • New lease of life for 11 WCAT schools

    Eleven of the schools previously run by the collapsed Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) have officially transferred to new sponsors. WCAT announced last September that it was giving up all 21 of its schools, because it lacked “the capacity to facilitate the rapid improvement our academies need and our students deserve”. The move followed the appointment of a

    9.59 Apr. 11th, 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

  • WCAT school left without sponsor over £1 million-a-year PFI contract

    A private finance initiative contract costing more than £1 million a year has stopped one of the last schools left from the collapsed Wakefield City Academies Trust from finding a new home. Mexborough Academy is one of the last two of WCAT’s 21 schools left without a new sponsor since the trust’s collapse in September.

    7.00 Mar. 9th, 2018 | News

  • Sponsors for WCAT schools have 'variable' school improvement record

    The government needs to explain why it picked certain trusts as sponsors for the schools that belonged to the collapsed Wakefield City Academies Trust, a former shadow education secretary has said, after it emerged they had a variable record of school improvement. WCAT announced it would close in September, and that its 21 schools would

    5.00 Dec. 8th, 2017 | News

  • RSC pushed to rebroker WCAT schools NINE months before official announcements

    The regional schools commissioner first pushed to remove schools from Wakefield City Academies trust in December 2016, though it took nine more months before any official announcements were made, Schools Week can exclusively reveal. A report from a WCAT board meeting on December 14, 2016, obtained by Freedom of Information requests, shows that Jennifer Bexon-Smith,

    17.04 Oct. 10th, 2017 | News

  • WCAT to give away all 21 of its schools

    The Wakefield City Academies Trust is giving up all 21 of its schools, shocking staff, parents and pupils as the first term of the 2017-18 school year begins. A statement from the trust’s board said that after a “robust period of review and evaluation of all aspects of the organisation”, it had “requested that the

    12.54 Sep. 8th, 2017 | News

  • Wakefield City Academies Trust appoints new chief executive

    The Wakefield City Academies Trust has appointed a new chief executive to deliver a “renewed focus on teaching and learning” after a turbulent few months for the chain. Chris Pickering has been appointed chief executive of the 21-school trust, based in Yorkshire. He leaves his role as chief executive of the Diverse Academies Trust, based

    13.08 May. 5th, 2017 | News

  • Wakefield trust walkout leaves special measures school in six-year limbo

    A second trust given a slice of £5 million northern academy hub funding has walked away from a school in special measures – meaning it has now been in limbo waiting for a permanent sponsor for six years. The Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) will no longer sponsor Hanson academy, in Bradford, after it finishes

    5.00 Jan. 6th, 2017 | News