AET loses Maidstone Academies to Leigh Academy Trust: Monopoly winners and losersWritten by Peter Read
I have frequently covered the failings of the three Maidstone primary academies run by the Academies Enterprise Trust on the pages of this website. At last there are signs of relief for the poor families whose children are forced to attend one of Molehill Primary Academy, Oaks Primary Academy and Tree Tops Primary Academy as they are taken away from AET control and transferred to the Leigh Academy Trust, currently Kent’s most successful academy chain, on 1st March.
All three schools have been failed by OFSTED in the past few years, an article I wrote in January 2014 being entitled: “Is this the worst school in the country, run by the worst academy chain? - Tree Tops Academy”. An update on the fate of the three schools followed in September. AET, the largest Academy chain in the country, is currently banned from taking on any new academies and received a highly critical letter from OFSTED, following the focused inspection of 12 of its 71 schools (OFSTED is currently not allowed to inspect academy chains directly), in September.……
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- Comment Link Monday, 02 March 2015 18:57 posted by Liz Simpson
I am Chair of Govenors at St James The Great Academy East Malling and have only just become aware of your website and blog. I just wanted to make a couple of observations about this article. Firstly, the Good Ofsted rating was gained in 2014 and not 2004 as you stated. Secondly, we made an active decision to remain with AET based entirely on the support that we had received from AET which we believed had enabled us to get the best results we had ever had in the history of the school. We have seen a record number of children gain Grammar School places and have been asked to support other local schools. I speak as I find and have been very impressed by the focus on improvement and driving up standards that we have seen in AET. Their firm but supportive direction in preparation for Ofsted was appreciated by staff and Governors alike. I am sure that The Leigh Academy will produce good results with their new schools but we decided it was not broken and so did not need fixing! We would be delighted to host a visit if you would like to see for yourself PETER: Apologies for the date typo error which is now amended. I am delighted to hear of the excellent support you have had from AET, so different to that reported by OFSTED about the other schools. As you say, if its not broke, don't fix it, and one can only speculate on the differences. Thanks also for the invitation; as you will appreciate, I receive many of these, and am not sure what it would achieve as I don't regard myself as having the assessment skills necessary to come to an informed opinion on one school as compared with another.
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