Star Academies, formerly Tauheedul Academies Trust, regularly features in government announcements about high-performing schools.
But this flagship academy trust has been served with a warning that funding may be terminated in respect of Highfield Leadership Academy, Blackpool. The academy was placed in special measures in December*..
Star runs mostly Islamic state schools – ten of these have been judged outstanding.
The trust has grown rapidly. It had just three schools in 2013. Five years later, it has 24 academies including 15 free schools. Star took over the non-faith Highfield Humanities College in 2016.
Star had had no experience of taking on a failing school when it took over Highfield. It has since taken over similar schools. Allowing a trust to open so many free schools as well as taking on schools with serious problems is perhaps expecting too much.
*CORRECTION 23 February 2019, 11.11: The original article said Highfield Leadership Academy had been placed in special measures in January. This was wrong. It had been placed in special measures after an inspection on 11-12 December 2018 although the report wasn't published until 15 February 2019. The article has been corrected.