“E-Act has not been effective in improving its academies.”
25 March 2014
Inspectors visited 16 of E-Act’s 34 academies over a two-week period up to 7 February – one was judged Outstanding, four were Good, six were judged as Requires Improvement and five, including Hartsbrook E-Act Free School, were Inadequate.
The inspections raised several concerns including:
1E-Act has the lowest proportion of good or better academies among the ten largest multi-academy trusts.
211 of the 18 E-Act academies inspected before the focused inspections were Requires Improvement or worse.
3 Three of the four E-Act academies which have been inspected twice dropped from Satisfactory to Inadequate.
4Seven of the twelve E-Act secondary academies which have data were in the lowest 40% of similar schools for progress in English.
5In 2013, Key Stage 4 attainment for pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) is lower than the national figure for FSM pupils in the majority of E-Act academies.
Ofsted said the evidence was an indication that E-Act’s support and intervention was “ineffective overall”. E-Act did not act effectively to improve performance in academies requiring “special measures”.
Key weakness in the 16 academies inspected during the two week blitz included:
1Poor quality teaching
2Work not matched to pupils’ abilities
4Poor use of assessment data
5Insufficiently challenging lessons for more able pupils.
Inspectors discovered E-Act had deducted a proportion of pupil premium funding from each academy until 1 September 2013. Ofsted was unclear how the deducted funding was being used to help disadvantaged pupils.
This letter comes after the announcement that E-Act is to lose ten of its academies
and an Education Funding Agency report which found a culture of extravagance at E-Act
. Sir Bruce Liddington, E-Act CEO and once the highest-paid person in education in England, resigned after the report’s publication.
E-Act is one of the long serving chains. It began in 2009
and opened its first academies under Labour’s sponsored academies programme.
E-Act has published its own press release
as a response to Ofsted's letter. The chain claims it has "begun root and branch reforms under new leadership".