William Eichler 15 April 2019

Over 50,000 pupils stuck in ‘zombie schools’

Tens of thousands of pupils are stuck ‘in limbo’ as their academies wait to be transferred between trusts.

According to figures from the Department for Education, there are 93 schools awaiting ‘rebrokering’ – the system by which academies are transferred from one trust to another.

This is typically done when there are concerns about the performance of an academy.

Of these schools, 48 are primary schools, 42 are secondary schools, two are special schools, and one is a provider of alternative provision.

Four have gone more than a year without being transferred between trusts.

A further 31 have been in the rebrokering process for between six and 12 months and one school has been waiting 23 months.

The Labour Party has calculated, using average pupil numbers in different school types, that there could be over 53,000 pupils in these so-called ‘zombie schools’.

‘The Tories have created a fragmented school system in which many schools are simply unable to access additional support, and tens of thousands of pupils will suffer the consequences,’ said Angela Rayner, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for education.

‘Despite leaving almost 100 schools in limbo they are taking no direct action to ensure that schools are re-brokered quickly and effectively to ensure that schools and pupils get the support they need.’

A spokesperson for the Department for Education defended the academy system and said that only a small percentage of schools had to transfer trusts.

‘One of the key strengths of the academy system is that it operates under a strict system of oversight and accountability,’ they said.

‘It means in any instances of under-performance we can take swift action, including transferring schools to new sponsors on the rare occasions this is necessary.

‘In 2017/18, only 255 academies successfully transferred trust in England, accounting for just 3.3% of all academies.’

‘Rebrokerage can happen due to a range of reasons, usually because a standalone academy is voluntarily becoming part of a trust, and where it is necessary we work closely with the schools affected through the Regional School Commissioners and their teams to make sure pupils’ education isn't adversely affected,’ the spokesperson continued.

‘Where schools have been judged inadequate by Ofsted, they must have plans in place to improve, even whilst they are they are awaiting a new sponsor.’?

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Road Worker

City of Bradford MDC
Band 6 £20,043 - £22,129 pa
Bradford Metropolitan District Council is looking for two Road Workers to join the Highway Delivery Unit. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Senior Practitioner - Family Support and Protection

Essex County Council
£41552 - £50290 per annum + + Free Parking & Local Gov Package
Closing Date
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Planning Enforcement Officer

Greater Cambridge Shared Planning
Grade 5, £30,737 - £35,747 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Greater Cambridge Planning Enforcement Team Cambourne/Cambridge/Hybrid
Recuriter: Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

Assistant Engineer / Engineer

City of Bradford MDC
£24,920 - £34,373 pa
This is an opportunity to join the highway maintenance team Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Technician - Maintenance Programmes (3 Posts)

Derbyshire County Council
£23,657 - £25,568 per annum - Plus market leading package (see below)
This is an exciting time to join our in-house Highways Service Hybrid
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.