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A multi-academy trust (MAT) has received three warning notices in two months over ‘inadequate’ schools, sparking fresh calls for Ofsted to inspect whole trusts.
The watchdog cannot inspect MATs even when several schools receive poor ratings, despite almost a decade of pressure for it to be handed new powers.
The Catholic church is at the centre of a legal battle over attempts to force Catholic schools to become academies run by its own multi-academy trusts, against the wishes of school governors and headteachers.
A consortium of school staff unions, including the National Association of Head Teachers and the Association of School and College Leaders, has written to Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary, calling on him to withdraw academy orders issued to a group of Catholic schools by the Department for Education (DfE) or face legal action.
Academisation of the school system has handed too much power to a “very small number” of politicians, the Department for Education’s former top boss has warned.
Former DfE permanent secretary Jonathan Slater said the academies system was “more centralised than it should be”. He also questioned “whether it makes sense” to give individual ministers “quite so much power over what children learn in school”.