Ofsted says academy chain standards too low.

‘A major academy chain has come under fire from Ofsted after a review revealed that half of its schools are not providing a good enough standard of education.

Inspectors say that, despite taking “a more robust and direct approach to school improvement”, standards in E-ACT’s secondary academies are still “too low”.

A letter from Ofsted to the trust’s managers says it is “a serious area of concern” that pupils from poor backgrounds are making less progress than other pupils nationally.

Inspectors also call for the trust to give “urgent attention” to the disparity in performance between its secondary academies and its primaries, which are doing better.

A review of the outcomes from the inspections of all 23 of the trust’s academies shows that more than half are not providing a good standard of education, Ofsted says.

Five of the academies are currently inadequate and only 10 are good or better.

The letter comes as a result of a “focused inspection” of seven of E-ACT’s academies in December last year, as part of Ofsted’s drive to look more closely at how multi-academy trusts are managing their schools.’ - TES

‘A response from E-Act said the inspectors had recognised improvements had been made, particularly in primary schools.

"Over the past year, we have radically overhauled the way that E-Act is run, and the way that our academies operate, so that children and young people genuinely have an excellent education during their time with us.

"This is now beginning to bear fruit, but there is more work to be done."’ - BBC

‘The National Union of Teachers said Ofsted’s review was the latest report to show that academy status had no direct link with good outcomes for young people.

General secretary Christine Blower said academy conversion, which is being prioritised by the government, was “not a school improvement strategy”.

She added: “The obsession with academies and free schools, as championed by the Conservatives, is not driven be a desire to improve schools. If it were, ministers would be open to the evidence about the wide range of factors which determine school effectiveness.

“Ministers are ignoring professional concerns about teacher vacancy rates, rushed curriculum changes and incessant policy change, all of which undermine school leaders’ efforts to stay on track and deliver excellent education for their students.”’ – Public Financ

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