Biggest primary MAT threatened with funding termination for failing academy

Reach2’s Copperfield Academy must take action or it could see its funding agreement terminated

Will Hazell

Reach2 minded to terminate letter

The country’s biggest primary-only multi-academy trust has been threatened with the termination of the funding agreement at one of its schools unless it turns performance around.

Reach2 received a “minded to terminate” letter for Copperfield Academy, in Kent, after Ofsted rated the school ‘inadequate’ and put it in special measures last month. 

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In the letter, Dominic Herrington, the regional schools commissioner for the South East and South London, said: “The academy is failing to give pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing, or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school”.

He highlighted Ofsted’s concerns that “the trust has not been effective in supporting the school to improve”, “inadequate” teaching in key stages 1 and 2, and disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs or disability not making enough progress.

“As the regional schools commissioner acting on behalf of the secretary of state, I need to be satisfied this academy can achieve rapid and sustained improvement. If not, I will consider issuing a termination warning notice,” the letter states.

Mr Herrington issued the school with five specific conditions of improvement which, if breached, could cause the Department for Education to consider termination. The conditions are:

  • Providing an up-to-date school improvement plan
  • Pupil outcomes and progress showing “significant improvements” in 2018-19
  • Ofsted monitoring inspections showing that “effective action” is being taken at the school
  • The academy moving out of special measures at its next full inspection
  • That no other Reach2 academy in the region is judged inadequate because “it is crucial that standards across the trust ‘s other schools are secure whilst Copperfield is supported to improve”

A spokeswoman for REAch2 said: “The letter from the DfE formally notifies us of their view that the academy needs to improve.

"We fully recognise this, and have already put in place a number of significant changes, including an extremely experienced senior leader, together with a comprehensive training programme to improve teaching and additional funding that will help improve results.

"These are already having an impact and are setting Copperfield on the right track to deliver the high-quality education that local families deserve.

"Reach2 is providing intensive support to help drive the changes that are needed, and we are confident that the improvements in teaching and learning will be reflected in the pupils’ results at the end of this academic year.”

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Will Hazell

Will Hazell

Will Hazell is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @whazell

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