Prospects Academies Trust to fold

The sponsor behind six school academies in Devon, Gloucestershire and East Sussex has announced it is folding.

Prospects Academies Trust said it had been a "very difficult" year for supporting its academies which are spread out over a large area.

Three are in Paignton and the others are hundreds of miles away in Bexhill, Gloucester, and the Forest of Dean. The trust's HQ is in south-east London.

The Department for Education (DfE) said it was "working with the trust".

A DfE spokesman said: "Two of these schools are in special measures and it is disappointing that the pupils are not getting the education they deserve."

'Exciting opportunity'

He said pupils' education would "not be disrupted" and the schools would all be "re-brokered with excellent sponsors to ensure they are able to thrive".

In a statement sent to the academies, Prospects Academies Trust chairman Peter Evans said: "We will be working with the DfE and yourselves [the academies] to find a way forward to ensure an orderly transfer to alternative governance arrangements.

"During this transition period we will ensure that the impact on your academies is minimised."

Jane English, the principal of Paignton Community and Sports Academy, has published a response on the school's website saying there is now an "exciting opportunity".

"This change will not impact on the quality of education we provide in the academy. Please be assured that it is business as usual," she wrote.

In Gloucestershire, the principal of the Dean Academy, David Gaston, said he knew nothing in addition to the trust's written statement.

He said there were no financial concerns as the academies are funded by the Education Funding Agency.

According to Bexhill High's statement online, Prospects Academies Trust will continue to manage the school "until a new sponsor has been appointed by the Department for Education".

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