Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), the organisation that the Isle of Wight council chose to run a third of the Isle of Wight’s six secondary schools, has been officially stopped from taking over the running of more schools, with The Telegraph citing “serious concerns over education standards and financial mismanagement” for the restriction.
AET is one of 14 Academy sponsors that the Government has “restricted in full from sponsoring new academies”, it was disclosed in the answer to a Parliamentary question.
A spokesperson from AET told OnTheWight the restriction came into force during September 2013 and gave us the following quote,
“In the summer of 2012 AET agreed with DfE to pause our academy expansion programme and consolidate the academies we have. In September 2012 we had 51 academies. Since then we have had DfE approval for a further 26 which have joined us.
“The DfE has made it clear that we have reached our current capacity and no more academies will be joining us in the foreseeable future. We are happy with this and are concentrating our efforts on significantly improving the 77 schools in our network.”
He went on to add,
“The last academy receiving DfE approval was Newlands Special School in Southwark which joined us in September 2013. Consequently that is when the restriction came into effect.”
The same previously alleged
A year ago, OnTheWight ran an article citing a report in The Times that AET had been ‘barred’ from taking over more schools. AET got in contact and insisted that this wasn’t the case.
AET have 77 schools under their control across the country. At the time, the Isle of Wight council’s Conservative administration converted the Island schools into academies, due to the shift from three tier to two tier, AET originally pitched to run all of the Island’s academies.
IW standards questions
Back in November it came to light that Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State of Education had written to AET about “unacceptably low standards” at Sandown Bay Academy.
Burying bad news accusation
The Government is facing criticism for releasing this information of Budget Day, with critics accusing it of trying to bury the bad news.