TWO academies which had been left without a sponsor after national chain E-ACT pulled out are close to securing a deal which will see them being backed by a further education college in the same city.
Leeds West and East Academies, were among 10 schools which E-ACT has agreed to give up amid concerns about its performance.
The move earlier this month had left the two Leeds schools without a sponsor with Leeds West governor Coun Ted Hanley saying it had come as a bolt out of the blue.
Now the schools’ have announced that they are set to be sponsored by a trust created by Leeds City College.
Lord Nash, the Government’s minister responsible for academies has signalled his support for the proposal and the deal could be formally approved by Easter.
The new White Rose Academies Trust is also planning to sponsor City of Leeds school as it bids to become an academy.
Annette Hall, the executive principal of both Leeds East and West academies said: “I’m delighted that we are developing an innovative, local solution entirely based on a Leeds city-wide partnership. The profile of Leeds City College as the largest educational provider in the area will be of great benefit to the students and staff of both academies. I believe that this new partnership offers a much better prospect for everyone at the two academies. We are grateful for the active support of Rachel Reeves MP and the local councilors as well as the strong commitment of Peter Roberts, principal at Leeds City College.”
Mr Roberts added: “The prospect of two more academies joining the White Rose Academies Trust along with the City of Leeds High School is very exciting and the fact that Leeds West is rated as a Good School will strengthen the Trust. We believe that this expansion of the group will enable us to benefit and support more young people across the city and raise their ambitions and aspirations”
E-ACT had relinquished control over 10 of its academies including Leeds West and Leeds East earlier this month. The move sparked anger as the schools had not been warned about the decision in advance.
Earlier this week the chain was in the headlines again after Ofsted issued a critical report about its ability to support its failing schools.
Neither of the Leeds schools had been included in these Ofsted inspections.
Leeds West is a good school rated as having outstanding leadership. Leeds East is rated as being inadequate. Ms Hall was originally head of Leeds West but was then made executive principal of both schools.
City of Leeds School has also attracted attention recently with its plan to teach English as an additional language to every pupil in the school.
The school said it was “rethinking the way it did things” because the majority of pupils were new to the country within the past four years.