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Academy Trusts

Volume 643: debated on Monday 25 June 2018

As the Secretary of State outlined in his speech to the National Association of Head Teachers, we will support and hold to account trusts with poor educational, financial or governance performance. We will continue to act swiftly and robustly to turn around academies that Ofsted has judged inadequate, bringing about leadership change if that is necessary.

I thank the Department and the Secretary of State for agreeing to meet me and colleagues last week to discuss our concerns about the performance of the University of Chester Academies Trust. Now that they have heard our concerns, can the Minister assure us that they will deal with these matters as swiftly as possible?

Yes, we will. The University Church of England Academy was judged to be inadequate by Ofsted in April last year. There was then a question of whether the multi-academy trust could provide the support that that school needed. Following a recent Ofsted monitoring visit to the academy, the Department took the view that insufficient progress was being made and that the leadership of the trust was not taking sufficient action. That is why my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to the hon. Gentleman confirming that the academy was going to be brokered to a higher-performing multi-academy trust, and we will do that as swiftly as possible.