Revealed: Why academies change sponsors

New DfE figures provide breakdown of how many academy moves were due to failure and how many were initiated by sponsors

Will Hazell

Academy transfers

One-third of academy transfers that took place in 2017-18 occurred because the school was failing or because the sponsor trust closed, new figures reveal. 

According to data published by the Department for Education this morning, 255 academies transferred to new trusts in 2017-18.

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Of these transfers, 61 occurred to intervention. This can happen because a school receives an inadequate rating from Ofsted, or because financial, governance or safeguarding failures have been identified by Regional Schools Commissioners and the Education and Skills Funding Agency. 

A further 22 transfers took place due to sponsor closure. Of these transfers, just three were categorised as "voluntary closure". Eighteen were listed as "voluntary closure following intervention", and one - the transfer of Heighington Millfield Primary Academy in Lincolnshire, which was previously run by Millfield Community Academy Trust, was categorised as an "intervention closure". 

The remaining 172 of transferred schools were listed as having undergone "transfer initiated by the trust".

This can include both schools being transferred between multi-academy trusts, and a single academy trust deciding to join a MAT.

The figures show that of the sponsor initiated transfers, 103 involved single school trusts deciding to join a MAT. The other 69 involved schools being transferred between MATs. 


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Will Hazell

Will Hazell

Will Hazell is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @whazell

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