Ofsted praises church-backed academy trust

Janet Downs's picture

The Diocese of Ely Multi Academy Trust (DEMAT) has received glowing praise from Ofsted, Schools Week reports.    A focussed inspection of seven DEMAT academies revealed ‘systematic improvement’ since 2016.

DEMAT runs 27 academies in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Peterborough and Suffolk.  Schools Week says the MAT initially ‘struggled to meet the different needs of growing numbers of schools’ after it had grown from one school to 18 in just two years.

However, inspectors found leadership and governance in 10 of 13 DEMAT academies inspected since conversion is now good.  

Ofsted praised DEMAT’s chief executive Andrew Read for his ‘candid reflection, decisive leadership and clarity of purpose’.  He told Schools Week:

The many positive statements about the leadership team are well deserved, but we also recognise the helpful areas for further improvement identified by Ofsted, many of which mirror the national challenges we face within the education system for which we all share responsibility.’

This positive result from focussed inspections of MATs follows the glowing praise  given to the University of Chichester Academy Trust in September 2017.  

Ofsted wants to be able to inspection MATs as a whole but is prevented from doing so by the Government.  Instead, it has to do focussed inspections of schools in MATs.  But these only go so far.  Amanda Spielman, Ofsted's Chief Inspector, says focussed inspections only offer a 'limited' view.   She has called on the Government to allow Ofsted to inspect MATs in their entirety.

UPDATE 13 December 2017:  The letter to DEMAT has now been published on the DfE's website.  It was not available to me when I posted the above.

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