Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 0°C

Search

New sponsors found for five former Bright Tribe schools in East Anglia

PUBLISHED: 11:29 16 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:28 16 November 2018

Colchester Academy will now be managed by South Suffolk Learning Trust Picture: GOOGLE

Colchester Academy will now be managed by South Suffolk Learning Trust Picture: GOOGLE

Google

New management has been found for several schools in Suffolk and north Essex formerly run by the controversial academy trust Bright Tribe.

Sarah Skinner, SSLT chief executive Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSarah Skinner, SSLT chief executive Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed three local multi-academy trusts will take the reins at five schools relinquished or ‘rebrokered’ by Bright Tribe in September, following questions raised over management of its other academies.

Colchester Academy, which recently drew national attention in the wake of claims its sponsor received large sums of public money for building and fire safety work it failed to carry out, will now be managed by South Suffolk Learning Trust (SSLT).

Jenny Betts, headteacher at Colchester Academy, said she was “very pleased” a new sponsor had been secured following an “unsettling time for the children”.

SSLT already runs one primary school and three secondary schools in the region. Its chief executive, Sarah Skinner, said: “Colchester Academy is a perfect addition to our MAT as its values and ethos are so strongly aligned to ours.

“Our vision is excellence through collaboration and we look forward to working with the school to share their best practice and common aims. We are delighted to welcome the students, staff and parents of Colchester Academy to our trust.”

The second secondary school rebrokered by Bright Tribe, Alde Valley Academy, will be managed by Waveney Valley Academies Trust (WVAT). It currently runs three academies in the region, including St John Leman High School, Stowmarket High School and Roman Hill Primary School.

Jeremy Rowe, chief executive of Waveney Valley Academies Trust Picture: NICK BUTCHERJeremy Rowe, chief executive of Waveney Valley Academies Trust Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Chief executive Jeremy Rowe said: “We are delighted to be able to work in partnership with Mr Mayhew and the great staff and students at Alde Valley Academy. We will work with ambition, fairness, trust and honesty as we help the school continue to go from strength to strength.”

The remaining three primary schools – Castle Hill Infant School, Castle Hill Junior School and Cliff Lane Primary School, all in Ipswich – will be taken over by ASSET Education, which already runs 10 schools in Suffolk.

Clare Flintoff, chief executive, said she was “absolutely delighted” by the news.

Clare Flintoff, CEO of ASSET Education  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNClare Flintoff, CEO of ASSET Education Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

She said: “Our mission has always been to make sure that children in Suffolk have the best possible educational opportunities and for our schools to be the best in the country.

“We have a collaborative approach, our schools work closely together and learn from each other, and we look forward to sharing and building on the great practice that we know exists at Cliff Lane and Castle Hill schools.”

The rebrokerages were approved at the meeting of the Head Teacher Board of the Regional Schools Commissioner yesterday.

Alde Valley Academy will be managed by Waveney Valley Academies Trust Picture: ALDE VALLEY ACADEMYAlde Valley Academy will be managed by Waveney Valley Academies Trust Picture: ALDE VALLEY ACADEMY

It is the intention that, subject to the usual due diligence process, the new trusts will formally become the sponsors in the first few months of next year.

Bright Tribe came under scrutiny earlier this year when a Panorama documentary claimed there were financial irregularities with the trust before the new leadership took over – which prompted Ipswich MP Sandy Martin to predict that the trust’s schools would have to be transferred to new management.

Bright Tribe’s interim chief executive, Angela Barry, said: “I am pleased that new sponsors have been identified for these five schools.

Castle Hill Infant and Junior Schools in Ipswich will be run by ASSET Education Picture: RACHEL EDGECastle Hill Infant and Junior Schools in Ipswich will be run by ASSET Education Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“This is an exciting new chapter for them all under new multi-academy trusts which will provide the pupils, parents and staff with the support, expertise and stability that will deliver a high-quality education.”

Bright Tribe’s history

Bright Tribe’s operations in the region began in 2014 – soon after the trust sponsored its first school.

Cliff Lane Primary School in Ipswich, which will be run by ASSET Education Picture: PHIL MORLEYCliff Lane Primary School in Ipswich, which will be run by ASSET Education Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Having already established a network of academies in the north-west of England, the trust announced in December 2014 that three Ipswich primary schools had joined its “family”.

Castle Hill Infant School, Castle Hill Junior School and Cliff Lane Primary School were the first in East Anglia to convert as Bright Tribe academies. The following month, Alde Valley School in Leiston also joined the trust.

Colchester Academy joined Bright Tribe in April 2015, having previously been sponsored by Colchester Institute.

Along with its partner, Bright Tribe Adventure Learning Academy, the trusts converted 12 schools in a year. By February of this year, however, the trust announced it was pulling out of its northern schools. The trust announced it was pulling out of the remaining six schools in September.

A fraudster cheated the system to illegally sub-let her council home for her own “greedy profit” - and then bought it at a huge discount, a court heard.

Today people from all around the country will be pulling on a silly sweater and getting into the festive spirit in aid of the Save the Children charity.

Retailers in Ipswich say they feel betrayed by Ipswich Borough Council (IBC) for giving the go ahead to a christmas craft market, at a time when many stores are battling to stay afloat.

A holiday cottage owner has credited her success in a national award scheme to her staff - who judges say are like ‘gold dust’.

Midge Ure, one of the prime innovators of 1980s electronic pop, will be marking the 40th anniversary of Ultravox and the hit album Vienna with a special tour. Arts Editor Andrew Clarke takes a walk down an atmospheric memory lane

A man collecting his laundry was sprung upon by an unknown man in an attempted robbery.

New research has revealed vast differences in the broadband speeds being experienced by internet users across Suffolk.

Today the luxury candle market is booming, and while it’s still dominated by giants like Yankee Candle, which takes up 46% of the market, a number of smaller firms are lighting up the sector too - especially in the festive season.

A substance misuse service for people across Suffolk has been rated ‘good’ by health inspectors.

Suffolk’s primary schools have seen a boost in their Key Stage 2 results - although the county is still behind the national average.

Most read

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24