Academies Enterprise Trust ‘barred’ by DfE from taking on new schools (updated)

The academy sponsor is told by Department for Education to improve results at their 66 academies, which includes two on the Isle of Wight.

Wagging finger:

An article by Greg Hurst in yesterday’s The Times newspaper revealed that Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), the sponsor who run Ryde Academy and Sandown Bay Academy, have been ‘barred’ by the Government from taking over any more schools.

It was revealed that the academy sponsor have been instructed by the Department for Education (DfE) to concentrate on raising results in their existing 66 schools.

AET are described by the paper as the ‘biggest player in the field’ of academy sponsorship and although only formed three years ago, took on a whopping 42 new schools last year alone.

At least 18 failing schools
The report states that 18 of its schools are failing with 30 in need of improvement and only two rated as outstanding.

As readers will know Sandown Bay Academy was recently placed into Special Measures following an Ofsted inspection in January.

Ryde Academy has yet to receive an Ofsted inspection since the school became an Academy as part of the school reorganisation from three tiers to two tiers.

“Believe you can …”
Quote of the week on the Academies Enterprise Trust Website is “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” — Theodore Roosevelt.

Update: 4th June 2013
Mike Barnett, Publicity Consultant for AET told OnTheWight,

The headline and story in The Times in March 2013 that we have been ‘banned’ from taking on more academies is untrue. We are the largest multi-sponsor in England and we currently have 70 academies. Because of the rate of expansion we agreed with the DfE last summer that after taking on a number of applications ‘in the pipeline’ that we would ‘pause and consolidate’ our network. The number is expected to be 74 in July and is expected to grow to 80 in September. The latest one to join us was a Swindon primary from 1 June.

Image: Lara604 under CC BY 2.0

Saturday, 30th March, 2013 4:11pm



Filed under: Education, Government, Isle of Wight News, Ryde, Isle of Wight, Sandown, School Reform, Top story

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33 Comments on "Academies Enterprise Trust ‘barred’ by DfE from taking on new schools (updated)"

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Two words: Essex & Beynon!!

Why is it that every time either the Education Authority, local Council and now the “Acedemies Enterprise Trust” try to change things for the so called “better” things go wrong? We did not seem to get these problems in the 60’s and 70’s,even the 80’s, things started to go astray when suddenly we changed from a 3 tier school system to two and now things are getting… Read more »
Anthony Wood

Classic case of AET being too greedy!


Academies were invented to provide central funding for schools in Local Education Authorities who could not manage their schools successfully.
Now we have a major academy ‘sponsor’ failing in the same way, so where do we go from here ?
Am I right to assume that IWC was responsible for choosing this particular academy provider ?

Anthony Wood

Yes, they were chosen by IWC following a competition process.


Blame it on Pugh then?

The Charities Commission website reports that Academies Enterprise Trust (1125603) has been removed from normal reporting as an “Exempt Charity”. Exempt charities are those charities exempt from registration with the Charity Commission and, until 1st June 2010, were not subject to its regulatory powers. As an institution, the exempt charity was established in England and Wales for charitable purposes which are exempt from registration with and oversight… Read more »
Gove is intent on carrying out his “revolution” in education, breaking up the existing arrangements so as to replace them with something that serves the neo-liberal programme for education. His education reforms are not only about cuts and privatisation, but also about how the ruling elite see the role of education in their “big society” and who and what education serves. The kind of school to deliver… Read more »

Hence the need for Free Schools. Round and round we go.


Gove is the worst Education Secretary since “Milk Snatcher Thatcher” (1970-74).

And that is no minor achievement seeing the people who have screwed up UK education over the last 40 years, i.e.

Kenneth Clarke
John Patten
Gillian Shepherd
David Blunkett
Estelle Morris
Charles Clarke
Ruth Kelly
Alan Johnson
Ed Balls

….. and now the clown of the show, Michael Gove.


I worked for the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) for a few years and I will always remember the education press coverage of one research report: it was headlined
“Government is the problem,research shows.”
Mind you, government does not pay any attention to education research so they probably didn’t get see that one either.

I have thought for a long time that the last thing a modern-day government wants is an educated population. People start thinking for themselves and asking uncomfortable questions. In the extreme they are intelligent enough to band together to overthrow an unpopular government- as was seen in the Arab Spring in which the initial discontent was manifested by long-term unemployed graduates. So governments of any colour want… Read more »

But apart from that it’s all good? ;-)


Only if you are a member of the PARTY! :-))

vanessa churchman
The problem Cicero is that you are correct but we are getting some very unintelligent people in the Political Parties. I do agree with your comments relating to Orwell – TV gets dumber week by week. Had a look tonight and the only thing worth watching was Foyle and Andrew Lloyd Webber (if you like musicals). The root of the problem is professional politicians, coming out of… Read more »
I agree with you Vanessa, though I would add that “in the old days [when] you had to have a good job in order to be able to fund being an MP”, intelligent people in working class jobs didn’t earn enough to cope with being an MP too, whereas barristers, for example, could do their highly-paid day job part time, & then work late at the House.… Read more »

As I have consistently argued on OTW- make voting compulsory!

Citizenship has duties as well as rights. One of those duties in a democracy is to select the government.

Dont believe compulsory voting would work , a far more effective way would be to assume all those non voters are “none of the above ” and consider these as real votes . how many times have your heard the boy idiot spouting about there mandate ? if only 30- 40 % vote id say 60 % didnt want any of you :- the non voters are… Read more »
@Cicero: Compulsory voting under the current system may only result in a lot of spoilt papers. I think that a genuine system of Proportional Representation like in many countries in mainland Europe, on the other hand, would give voters the assurance that their vote is not wasted because they happen to live in the heartland of a party they do not want to vote for. The current… Read more »
How about adding a Non of the above box on the ballot paper …. with the assumption that non voters are counted in this box …. how about a change in party thinking whereby on a low turnout it is taken as read that those who chose not to vote actually didnt want any of the candidates on the paper ! …. and how about the parties… Read more »
There are several forms of PR being exercised today in Europe but its weakness (IMHO) is that the end result of such a system ends in coalition government. No one party has control but needs to achieve majority voting in governing the country by making alliances with other parties. This in turns means that the “kingmaker” parties have greater influence on policy-making than the level of electoral… Read more »
What a great Business they are though – just look at the last three years figures: Academies Enterprise Trust (CH Reg: 06625091)Private Limited Company / Registered Charity: Year 2011-12 – turnover £ 341M, retained Profit £ 195M Year 2010-11 – turnover £ 128M, retained Profit £ 64M Year 2009-10 – turnover £ 83M, retained Profit £ 44M Ofcourse as a registered charity there is no tax to… Read more »
mike starke
Way back at the top of this; PW had it right; THOSE TWO WORDS. When the whole “academy/education trust” scam started, I Googled some names. Surprise, surprise; a few from Essex education authority (keep up, kids; where S. Beynon came from… in education)were listed as “directors”, or whatever, of the privateers. Try it now. I have. The Essex connection, or anything to identify the culprits, is harder… Read more »
I’m not sure what algorithms duckduckgo use, compared to say google – but sure enough the connections warrants further investigation; It’s not because I’m naturally suspicious of course, it’s just that Steve said when he was in Essex that ‘every child matters’, that he even needed youth cabinets to ‘keep the council in check’ & that the council’s priority was “instead of us worrying about what… Read more »

What changed or why do island kids deserve such a poor service in comparison?
More than two words this time:
Power, Corrupion & Lies or Pugh, Brown, Beynon & Love.
All inter-changeable though.

Billy Builder
I think that you are being a little unfair here PW, you can hardly blame these particular individuals for failure to deliver by an independent academy. You can however blame these people on all of the following:- The ignominy of having to ask Hants to run our Education and Children’s services because the Council was deemed incapable by OFSTED, who compelled the Council to outsource Children’s services… Read more »
Nice posting Billy, With regard to Janet Newton, my understanding is that her post of Deputy Director of Education was deleted as part of the Hants outsourcing fiasco, and that she was made redundant by the Council on 31st March. I suspect that like Beynon, she got a big fat redundancy check, and is now looking for something to do! Perhaps as she now sits outside the… Read more »
Hi Cicero, Whilst I agree with most of your postings, this particular one is complete and utter tosh. What we need is a Council that truly represents the views of the Island as a whole, not just a subset of the population, whether that be Tory, Lib-Dem or Labour. In an ideal world, each member would truly represent his or her local constituents, and would not be… Read more »

Me’s think’s that my’s posting missed it target – I was supposed to be responding to Cicero’s comment lambasting hung councils – sorry

@Matt H I agree with you. So ban political party candidates from local elections: make voting compulsory so the result is not based on the 35% turnout that organised parties can achieve: institute PR for the Island: give ward electorates the right to dismiss their councillors and call fresh elections. BTW you have three weeks before 2nd May to achieve all this! :-)) On the other hand,… Read more »

@Billy Builder “The list goes on and on. But don’t blame them for the Academy issues, be fair ”

I do blame them for instituting the failed and failing Academy system on the Island following the diktats of their ideological masters in Westminster.

[BTW Kent’s academies did worse than the Islands in last years results and IWC was seeking advice from them? Sheesh!.]

Billy Builder

Better that it is a dodgy Academy rather than the current shower at County Hall. Can yo imagine the stat our schools would be in now if Pugh, Brown, Beynon, Love, Anderson, etc had had control of the lot. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Gerard Hume
No surprises here. We are/were about to join the AET ‘family’. No formal stuff has happened yet but strangely they want us to go on courses (run by and payable t them), Joing literacy schemes (£10,000 – again payable to them)..the list goes on.Academy sponsors are NOT charities..they are Thatcherite, scavenging money-grabbers. If you need change in education then think it through. just another quick ‘Wow’ measure… Read more »