AET under scrutiny by national education watchdog, again

The Trust that manages three schools on the Isle of Wight has come under further scrutiny by the education watchdog, Ofsted, following concerns about ‘unacceptably low standards’.

magnifying glass

Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) is once again under the gaze of Ofsted. They’ve just undergone their second inspection in 18 months.

The Trust manages 68 schools in the country, three of which are on the Isle of Wight; Sandown Bay Academy, Ryde Academy and Weston Primary (which closes at the end of the year).

Barred from taking on new schools
As reported back in March 2013, following concerns from the Department for Education (DfT), AET were barred from taking on any new schools.

By November that year, the Government had to write to them about ‘unacceptably low standards’ and by October 2014, the Education Funding Agency had issued a ‘financial notice to imprve’ to the Trust due to concerns about the management of its finances.

Dft sit in on AET board meetings
The Times Educational Supplement (TES) report that the situation is considered to have become so bad, Department for Education reps sit in on AET board meetings. Provisional GCSE results in 17 of the 30 academies have fallen this year, report the TES.

A spokesperson from the Department for Education said they were working with AET to address their concerns and ensure improvements are made across all schools in the trust.

Ryde Academy included in inspection
A spokesperson for AET confirmed to OnTheWight that Ryde Academy was one of the seven schools visited by Ofsted as part of the focused inspection.

They said,

“We were subject to a focussed inspection of our trust during the second half of November. Inspections took place in seven of our primary and secondary academies during the week beginning 16 November. Three of these were full inspections and the remainder monitoring visits.

“Inspectors met with trustees, senior staff and headteachers at our head office in Essex the following week.

“There is no framework for an inspection of a multi-agency trust and no power for Ofsted to undertake such an inspection. We agreed that Ofsted could undertake the inspection, which will identify areas of strength and areas for development. Ofsted will not be making any judgement.

“Ryde was one of the academies visited by Ofsted.

“We understand that the outcome will be published early in the new year. “

Image: Lazurite under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 17th December, 2015 2:23pm



Filed under: Education, Island-wide, Ofsted reports, Ryde, Isle of Wight, Sandown, Top story

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2 Comments on "AET under scrutiny by national education watchdog, again"

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Perhaps the schools should be returned to LEA control? I am yet to see any evidence that Acadamisation works unless a philanthropic business is involved. JCB and Peter Jones are prime successful examples. Perhaps if some of our successful local businesses could ran them instead? The Wightlink Ryde Academy? The Red Funnel Innovation Secondary School? The GKN Medina Academy and the errrrr…… Don’t knock our decrepit crumbling… Read more »

(per the Beeb today)

“The biggest academy chain in England has been accused by Ofsted of “failing too many pupils”.

Inspectors say that almost half of pupils at secondary schools run by the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) are in schools that are “less than good”.

Ofsted warns that poorer pupils do “particularly badly” in AET schools.”