Spotlight on Sponsors – School Partnership Trust Academies

Don Valley Academy goes into Special Measures

Whenever a sponsored academy is put into special measures, we have a look at their record and wonder whether sponsors that have been operating for some time are fulfilling the promise made by politicians over the last few years that being a sponsored academy proves to be the answer to all their school improvement problems, and provides a better and faster turn around than a local authority. This week the Don Valley Academy has gone into special measures. It is sponsored by the School Partnership Trust Academies. This organisation has been running academies since 2009, so before any new school is allowed to be run by them, surely someone somewhere looks at their record? They run 41 schools, acquiring 5 schools from September 2014.

We have looked at their schools that became academies from 2009 to Jan 2012. These schools that have now had a minimum of almost three years under their sponsorship. This amount to 12 schools. Of these 2 are ‘inadequate’ 5 are ‘requires improvement’  3 are ‘good’ and 2 are ‘outstanding’. The two inadequate schools have had at least 2 inspections as academies. One started off at a 4 and the other started off as a 3. It is difficult to track the Oftsed grades of the predecessor schools, but clearly academy status has not worked any magic. The two schools that are ‘outstanding’ were both ‘outstanding in inspections for their predecessor schools.

Despite this lack of a track record of school improvement, they have increased their number to total 41. This highlights the need to inspect chains and to scrutinise their performance jot the same extent that local authorities can expect.





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