The number of academies that have transferred to a different sponsoring academy trust due to the closure of their existing trust more than doubled from 2017/18 to 2018/19, a report from the Department for Education has revealed.
Academy trusts are not for profit bodies that range from trusts that run a single academy to multi-academy trusts that run a group of academies. Over a fifth (22%) of academy transfers recorded in 2018/19 were caused by sponsor closure, compared to 9% of academy transfers recorded in 2017/18.
The ‘Academy transfers and funding 2018 – 2019’ report also revealed that the rate of academy transfers has increased steadily since 2013/14. A total of 307 academies moved trust in 2018/19, compared to 255 academies in 2017/18 and 21 in 2013/14.
In 2018/19, the Department for Education awarded a total of £6.5 million in grant funding to 80 academies that moved trust. This compares to £7.6 million shared between 53 academies in 2017/18 and £8.4 million between 61 academies in 2016/17. Overall, the Department for Education has awarded more than £31 million in grants to academies moving trust since 2013/14.
The NEU (National Education Union) believes that spending over £31 million of taxpayers’ money transferring 935 academy schools between different academy trusts over the last five years is a scandal and the money could have been better spent investing in schools across England.