Press release: Focused inspection of Collaborative Academies Trust

The inspections are part of a concerted programme of action by Ofsted to establish the effectiveness of a Multi-Academy Trust in supporting and challenging academy schools within individual chains.

Four academies were inspected as part of the focused inspection in mid–March. Two of the inspections were the academies’ first full inspection and two were monitoring inspections. The academies were all due for an inspection by the end of this academic year.

Along with the inspections, telephone discussions were held with senior leaders in five other academies within the chain and inspectors undertook a follow-up visit to Collaborative’s national office. As part of this visit, discussions were held with the Chief Education and Operations Officer, members of staff and directors and strategic partners. Inspectors also scrutinised a range of relevant documentation and took account of data for individual academies and the trust as a whole, including previous inspection findings.

The letter sent to Collaborative Academies Trust has been published on the Ofsted website.

Notes to editors

  1. The focused inspection of Collaborative Academies Trust is online.
  2. The Secretary of State for Education wrote to Ofsted on 22 January 2015 clarifying the arrangements for the focused inspection of academies. In the first week, Ofsted inspects a number of the trust’s academies. Inspectors also hold telephone conversations with other academy principals. In the following week inspectors now visit Multi-Academy Trust central offices and hold discussions with staff from the trust. They consider a range of other evidence alongside the results from the focused inspections.
  3. Collaborative Academies Trust was set up in 2012 by EdisonLearning. There are currently nine academies in the trust. The first three, all in Northamptonshire, joined in November 2012 having previously worked with the sponsor as part of a local improvement partnership. A further three academies joined in April 2013, followed by another in January 2014. These four are all in Somerset. The remaining two academies joined at the beginning of this academic year. One is a new school in Somerset, the other is in Essex. All the academies, with the exception of Kingsthorpe College, are sponsored and primary schools. Seven of the eight predecessor schools had been judged as inadequate or requiring improvement at their last inspection before joining the trust.
  4. Kingsthorpe College, part of Collaborative Academies Trust, was inspected after the focused inspection and was judged ‘good’ in June.
  5. The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children’s social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children’s services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.
  6. Media can contact the Ofsted Press Office through 03000 130415 or via Ofsted’s enquiry line 0300 1231231 between 8.30am – 6.00pm, Monday – Friday. Out of these hours, during evenings and weekends, the duty press officer can be reached on 07919 057359.
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