Schools trust under fire

E-Act, the trust which sponsors both of Daventry’s secondary schools, has been stripped of nearly a third of its academies.

The educational trust came under fire from the Government and Ofsted on Tuesday after Ofsted inspectors raised serious concerns about the performance of some of the E-Act academies.

E-Act will now give up running 10 of its 34 schools. But the Daventry Express can reveal neither the Parker E-Act Academy nor Danetre and Southbrook Learning Village are affected.

The Government hopes the move will mean E-Act can now focus more on raising standards at the Daventry schools and others the trust keeps.

Ofsted voicing its concerns came after recent visits to 16 E-Act schools.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said it had urged the academy provider to reduce its number of schools, but the decision was taken by E-Act. Officials will now work with E-Act to find different sponsors for those schools.

An official statement from E-Act says it is working with the DfE to “identify where we are best placed to make a significant difference to our academies”.

It is understood the trust has found itself less well able to support some of its 34 schools for reasons including their geographical locations.

Jus last year E-Act faced heavy criticism in a report from the Education Funding Agency which warned of a culture of extravagant expenses a the trust.

And Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has called for his organisation to be given the power to inspect educational providers like E-Act – as they already do with local council education authorities – and not just the schools they run.

A DfE spokesman said: “As we have seen with E-Act, these arrangements already allow underperformance in academy chains to be swiftly identified and addressed.

“This shows the present system is working, allowing both individual schools and academy chains to be held effectively to account.

“We welcome E-Act’s decision to hand over a number of their academies to new sponsors. We hope this will mean E-Act can focus on raising standards in their remaining schools.”