Saviour trust to take on “abandoned” academy schools

An academy trust set up solely to take on “rejected” academy schools has been approved to take on its first acquisition, reports have revealed.

The Falcon Education Academies Trust (FEAT) was launched earlier this year to take on underperforming academy schools who had failed to find new sponsorship.

It comes after recent figures revealed that more than 50,000 pupils currently attend academies in England that have been unable to join a multi-academy trust or find a sponsor.

The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that 93 schools with an estimated 53,000 pupils were waiting to join a trust, having been “abandoned” or “taken away” from their previous sponsor.

Hoping to take on several struggling schools this year, FEAT said its first acquisition is an academy based in Stockton-On-Tees, which was placed into special measures after yo-yoing between academy trusts in 2016.

Commenting on the move, John Baker, chair of Teesside Learning Trust, the school’s current sponsor, said: “Following discussions with the regional schools commissioner earlier this year, it was agreed that possibilities would be explored with a view to finding an alternative sponsor which has the capacity to drive improved outcomes for our students at [the school].

“We are pleased that FEAT has been invited to carry out a due diligence exercise and subject to a satisfactory outcome the intention will be to transfer [the school] into that trust.”

Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, added that the government would always take “swift action” to help improve schools that are “stuck or underperforming”.

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