Academy trust ordered to cut nine schools by RSC

An academy chain that provides advisers to help struggling schools has had nine of its schools handed to other trusts.

The Lilac Sky Schools Academy Trust (LSSAT) had been ordered to hand over nine primary schools by the regional schools commissioner (RSC) Dominic Herrington.

The trust reportedly took control of five of the nine schools less than a year ago.

“This was clearly a very difficult decision to make, but was done so in the best interests of the children”, read a statement issued by the trust.

“We are also working closely with the principal of each school, as well as the new trusts, to ensure that the children’s education is not disrupted.”

It is unclear why the schools are being taken over, but Schools Week report another of LSSAT’s schools had “been threatened with closure by the government and issued a termination notice in November” over “unacceptably low standards”.

Schools week had also uncovered that Lilac Sky Schools, an associated firm of LSSAT who provide education consultancy, has “a two-year contract to provide three advisors to help out RSCs”.

“The advisers form part of a pool of experts who can be called on by RSCs to help with school improvement, find suitable new sponsors and assess free school applications” read the Schools Week report.

The firm had reportedly taken over £800,000 for its services in 2013/14.

RSC Dominic Herrington will now oversee the rebrokering of LSSAT’s schools with as little to no disruption as possible.

“We are now working urgently to facilitate this transfer and ensure that there is no interruption to children’s education”, said a spokesperson for the Department for Education.

Nicholas Tyler, the owner of a management consultancy firm, was appointed as the new interim chair of directors, as four of LSSAT’s directors resigned earlier this year.