Government denies Budmouth College academy delay

Government denies Budmouth College academy delay

Published by George Sharpe at 9:23am 23rd August 2019. (Updated at 10:45am 23rd August 2019)

The government's responded saying it will not delay the academisation of Budmouth College.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this article contained an error regarding the identification of the school. Control is being given to Aspirations Academy Trust.

Dorset Councillor Andrew Parry asked the government for more time to consult with the community and assess the situation.

But Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson has now responded. He wrote back: 

"We will not delay this process any further as our priority is to get the school into a strong MAT to rapidly improve standards."

He states that all schools judged by Ofsted as requiring special measures must join a multi-academy trust. He also urged councillors and the community to work with Aspirations Academy Trust, who will be taking over the school as of September:

"The trust has a proven track record of rapidly improving underperforming schools which is a key consideration in our decision making. In addition, a thorough financial assessment of AAT was carried out in advance of approving the proposal and was considered as part of the process."

Councillor Andrew Parry said:

“We asked the Government to delay this academisation, as we were reflecting the concerns of parents, pupils, councillors and the local community about the process.

"The Department for Education have said the academisation must take place as they planned. I know many people will be disappointed by the response, but we must now move forward and work with Budmouth College, Aspirations and the Regional Schools Commissioner to make the necessary changes and, most importantly, safeguard the standards for our young people. 

"I know I’m not alone when I say we want pupils at Budmouth to receive the best possible education, so our priority must now be supporting Aspirations and the school to make this happen."

'Inadequate' Ofsted rating

An Ofsted inspection last year graded the school as 'inadequate', citing ineffective safeguarding and divided school Governors. It said academic outcomes for pupils were 'very poor'.

But, parents and councillors alike have petitioned the government to stall the process over Aspirations Academy Trust's financial stance and approach to discipline.

Parents are worried about Aspirations Academies' "tough love approach". 

Read more here.