The Department for Education has denied double standards after forcing one academy trust to share documents relating to important decisions made by its bosses, but allowing another – set up by the academies minister – not to.
The Inspiration Trust, in east Anglia, and Bright Tribe, based in the north, were both requested under the freedom of information act to release chief executive reports and departmental reports, which are not usually published online.
Five days of strike action has been called at Littlegreen Special School in Compton due to fears over threats to jobs and terms and conditions.
A total of 89 per cent of National Education Union (NEU) members voted in favour of industrial action, which is scheduled for December 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13.
The school for boys with autism and other special educational needs is due to become an academy run by the Solent Academies Trust after an Ofsted inspection last November gave it an ‘inadequate’ rating.
However after a subsequent monitoring visit in July, Ofsted said the headteacher had ‘led decisive action since [her] appointment, and more rapidly since the inspection, to improve safeguarding arrangements and pupils’ behaviour’.
The union says it has not received a firm commitment from the academies trust there will be no compulsory redundancies following the transfer.
The public accounts committee has held its second session into academy finances, and grilled some of the highest ranking civil servants in the Department for Education.
The DfE’s permanent secretary Jonathan Slater was joined by the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s chief executive, Eileen Milner, and director of academies and maintained schools, Mike Pettifer, to face questions ranging from related party transactions and CEO pay to banning trustees from working in other schools.
Here are seven things we learned
As increasing numbers of schools become academies – there are now more than 8,000 academies across England – state education seems increasingly to resemble the business world, with empires of schools rising and falling under the stewardship of dynamic individuals, hostile takeovers not unknown, and the public often struggling to understand what are sometimes hugely complicated ownership structures, agreed in private.
The latest revelation, in what seems an endless list of recent scandals, came on Monday as it emerged that one of two charities associated with a primary school in south London is paying off an £850,000 end-of-contract package to its former headteacher.