AET warned it could lose 'inadequate' primary school

Academies Enterprise Trust could be hit with a termination warning notice over the performance of a troubled primary

Amy Gibbons

Academies Enterprise Trust could be hit with a termination warning notice over the performance of one of its primary schools

An academy trust that was embroiled in a dispute over staff cuts last year has been warned that it could lose a failing primary school.

The regional schools commissioner for the West Midlands, Andrew Warren, has told Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) that he will consider issuing a termination warning notice unless Four Dwellings Primary Academy improves.

The warning comes after Ofsted judged the academy to be "inadequate" in July 2019.

Related: Major academy chain given another warning over a 'failing school'

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In a letter to the Birmingham school sent in November, Mr Warren said: "As the regional schools commissioner (RSC) acting on behalf of the secretary of state, I must be satisfied that the academy can achieve rapid and sustained improvement.

Academy chain under scrutiny

"If I am not satisfied this can be achieved, I will consider issuing a termination warning notice."

Following its visit last year, Ofsted found that the school's "overall effectiveness" had declined since the previous inspection. 

It concluded that safeguarding was "not effective", pupils' attendance was "consistently low" and many parents and carers were "unhappy" with the leadership at the school.

Mr Warren told AET that it must produce a "school improvement plan" for the academy by November 2019.

The Department for Education is now working with the school.

At its peak, AET had 77 academies, but it became one of the most high-profile academy trusts to run into difficulties and had been banned from expanding.

In April last year, the trust received two warnings about standards in its schools from the Department for Education in a matter of days.

It also faced a vote of no confidence from staff, and became embroiled in a row with the GMB trade union over proposed cuts.

A spokesperson for AET said: "Whilst we recognise there have been challenges at Four Dwellings Primary Academy, we have a clear and rigorous plan of action in place that is already having an impact.

"This includes the appointment of an exceptional executive headteacher and additional support for inclusion and curriculum from our specialist experts.

"We are confident that the academy is getting back on track so that we can deliver on our promise of an education that helps children go on to lead remarkable lives."

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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