Tes has today revealed that the number of applications to become academy sponsors has dropped by a massive 40 per cent in just two years.
When asked about the findings, the Department for Education’s response was the verbal equivalent of a shrug of the shoulders.
In a nutshell, it said more sponsors were only needed when regulator Ofsted rated a school as inadequate – and that because school standards were rising, this wasn’t happening so often.
The department has, it said, more than 1,100 sponsors that it could call upon.
However, the tone of this response was in contrast to concerns raised by Ofsted itself, which last December said that the DfE’s efforts to turn around failing schools would not succeed without more good sponsors.