Government takes over Leeds schools amid concern over standards

TWO schools in Leeds are to be taken out of the control of one of the country’s biggest academy chains amid concerns over its ability to maintain standards.

Tuesday, 25th February 2014, 3:37 pm
Leeds East Academy at Seacroft

E-Act is to hand over the running of ten of its 34 academies to the Department for Education (DfE) who will find new sponsors to run them.

The names of the schools have not been published but are understood to include both Leeds West and Leeds East Academies.

The national academy chain has been in the spotlight since last year when it was given a financial notice to improve by the DfE following an audit report which found it had weak financial controls and a culture of credit card spending on prestige venues.

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This was a criticism of the sponsor’s central management and not of the schools it runs.

Now the Government and E Act have agreed to cut the number of academies it sponsors by almost a third.

The chain has sponsored Leeds West Academy since 2009 and Leeds East since 2011.

It also runs Parkwood Academy in Sheffield and Purston Academy in Featherstone which are set to remain part of E-Act.

Leeds West is rated as a good school by Ofsted and its leadership and management is judged to be outstanding

Leeds East has been rated as inadequate and was placed in the serious weaknesses category last year.

It was also given a pre warning notice letter by Schools Minister Lord Nash last year over poor exam results.