Hathaway Academy bosses “banned” from opening any more schools.

THE SPONSORS responsible for Hathaway Academy, formerly Grays School, have been barred from opening any more schools, because of serious concerns about the education being provided to children.

They have been told they can’t open new free schools or academies until they prove that pupils at their existing colleges “get a good education”.

The Academy Transformation Trust (ATT) took over the struggling Grays School in 2013. Since then, many have been impressed with the new head, James Howarth, who they believe is taking the sponsors at their word and transforming the school.

Education Minister Edward Timpson said in a written Parliamentary answer said: “The number of approved sponsors with open academies that have been restricted is reviewed regularly in the light of the latest assessment of performance.

“At 27 February 2014, 14 sponsors were restricted in full from sponsoring new academies or free schools out of a total of over 350 approved sponsors that currently support academies.”

The Department for Education said the ban was designed to ensure trusts focused on improving existing schools.

A spokesman said: “When we do have concerns about the performance of academy sponsors, we act quickly – we stop them from taking on new projects, so that they focus on their existing schools, and ensure pupils there get a good education. When they have demonstrated this, they are able to take on new academies.”

CEO of Academy Transformation Trust, Ian Cleland said: “We are committed to transforming the learning opportunities and aspirations for all our pupils who are at the heart of everything we do.

“With this at the forefront of our minds, we have worked closely with the Department of Education (DfE) to grow Academy Transformation Trust in a stable and sustainable way that offers all our academies the best chance to become outstanding schools.”

He added: “Following discussions with DfE in Autumn last year, we have focused our expertise and time on consolidating our 16 academies.”

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