Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “The Government should hang its head in shame at this response. To claim that multi academy trusts are held accountable at all levels and that the Department holds trusts to account and intervenes swiftly when problems arise is a grotesque parody of the real situation. The parents of children in the 21 schools in the Wakefield City Academy Trust know only too well that there was no accountability within that academy trust and...
that the Regional Schools Commissioners missed every warning sign that things were going wrong.
“Staff at Whitehaven Academy, run by the Bright Tribe academy trust, wrote an open letter to their MP, the Regional School Commissioner and the Prime Minister a year ago pleading for the school to be removed from the Trust. Yet neither the RSC, nor any of her team, have visited the school in the last year. In a disgraceful incident, the Conservative MP Trudy Harrison was ‘frogmarched’ off the premises when she visited the school at the request of her local constituents to see for herself the poor state of the school buildings.
“The reality is that there is no accountability within the academy system. Unaccountable Trustees make decisions about the running of schools with no accountability to parents or communities. RSCs appear clueless about what is happening in MATs in their Region, and even when problems are pointed out to them they are unwilling to act.
“Schools must be returned to their local authority family of schools. This is the only way in which democratic oversight and accountability of schools can be secured.”