An estimated 53,000 pupils attend so-called zombie schools that are stuck in administrative limbo as they wait for new sponsors.
Official figures show that 93 academies are in the process of transferring between trusts after their original sponsor backed out. The figure has increased by 45 per cent from 64 in 2017.The academies are said to be crippled by the uncertainty of the transfer process, with governing bodies hesitating to make long-term decisions until a sponsor is found.
Another school run by the Academies Enterprise Trust is in hot water
and may be rebrokered to another sponsor because of falling standards.
Dominic Herrington, the national schools commissioner, has issued another “minded to terminate” notice to AET warning the trust over performance at the ‘inadequate’-rated Bexleyheath Academy in London.
The school was given the lowest possible Ofsted rating following a visit in November after inspectors found the school failed to deliver an “acceptable standard” of education and warned of falling standards over “several years”
It is the second warning notice issued to AET in recent weeks. The trust was warned last month that it could lose control of Offa’s Mead Academy in Sedbury, Gloucestershire, which was also recently rated ‘inadequate’.
A school tied into a £20 million PFI contract and with “significant”
deficits forecast this year has been ordered by the government to
improve its finances and join a multi-academy trust.
Bradfield School in Sheffield, which is expecting to have racked up a
deficit of £800,000 by August, has been told to begin the process of
moving into a larger sponsor after officials questioned its viability as
a standalone school. The school must have kick-started the process by
The school has been issued with a financial notice to improve by the Education and Skills Funding Agency for failing to submit audited financial statements – which were due on December 31. The school was already subject to ESFA intervention “due to concerns regarding financial management”.
The government has revoked more than 30 academy orders, some after
schools have spent years in limbo and often after they have been at the
centre of fierce battles over their futures, a Schools Week investigation has found.
Analysis of government data obtained under the freedom of information act found 33 schools have spent more than 16,000 days subject to academy orders that were later revoked.