Preferred education trusts announced to take over seven Doncaster schools after academy chain pulls out

Mexborough Academy is one of seven schools in Doncaster managed by the Wakefield City Academies Trust.
Mexborough Academy is one of seven schools in Doncaster managed by the Wakefield City Academies Trust.

The Government has announced its preferred trusts to take over at seven Doncaster schools that were offloaded by an academy chain.

Wakefield City Academies Trust announced just days into the new school year that it was working with the Government to find new sponsors for all of its 21 schools.

The trust's board said it could not provide the quality of education its pupils deserve.

The Department for Education has now named its 'preferred trusts' to take over the WCAT schools.

Astrea Academy Trust was named as preferred trust for Balby Carr Academy and Waverley Academy, Exceed Learning Partnership for Carr Lodge Academy, Inspiring Futures Academy Trust for Willow Academy and Delta Academies Trust for Morley Place Academy, Mexborough Academy and Montagu Academy.

Chief executive of Astrea Academy Trust, Libby Nicholas, said: “We are delighted to be in discussions about Barlby Carr and Waverley Primary schools joining the Astrea family.

"Subject to the due diligence, they will formally join us over the next few months and we look forward to working with them to deliver an education that inspires beyond measure.”

Education bosses at Doncaster Council said they will work with the DfE and trusts involved to ensure the transition process is managed 'effectively and efficiently'.

Damian Allen, director of people for Doncaster Council, said: “Our key focus remains one of providing each of these schools in Doncaster with the support and guidance they need to ensure these changes do not adversely affect pupils’ education.

“We will continue to work closely with the Department for Education, WCAT, the schools and the proposed new sponsors so the whole transition process is managed as effectively and efficiently as possible.

"We are clear that given the scale of the impact on the local education system that this needs to be coordinated and that the council has a clear role to play in ensuring this happens.”

A period for interested parties to submit information relevant to any, or all, of the 21 academies has now begun, the DfE said.

A DfE spokesman said: "Our priority has been to identify new trusts and to minimise uncertainty for schools and pupils.

"There is now an opportunity for interested parties to submit views to the department before final decisions are taken.”