The Independent Academies Association (IAA) is being forced to fold due to a lack of funds, as the tougher economic environment for schools begins to bite.
The group has been running since 2002, when the first academies were introduced, but it has cited a “radically changed” landscape and “increased pressure” on school budgets as the reasons behind its decision to shut down.
Since 2010, the number of academies has grown from 203 to more than 4,000. But, at the same time, the need for a single membership body has started to decline due to the growth in multi-academy trusts (MATs), which provide services for their member schools.
According to a statement issued yesterday, IAA membership numbers have started to dry up due to the emergence of MATs and, following advice from experts, it was decided that the body could no longer continue as a going concern.
It says: “The IAA, past and present is proud of the contribution it has made to creating this new landscape, however, it is because of this change, that it can no longer realistically expect the levels of membership or sponsorship required to resource the organisation moving forward. As a result of this, the board has reluctantly come to the inescapable conclusion that IAA is sadly no longer sustainable long-term.”
The statement adds: “On Thursday 11 June, IAA Directors met, having taken advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner, and in the light of our projections regarding reduced membership income, it was agreed that a liquidator should be appointed.”
The IAA board has approached other membership organisations to take on existing members of the group.