TBAP Aspire AP Academy was judged inadequate on all four counts after Ofsted visited on 8-9 May. The report was not published until 2 July.
Criticisms include ineffective safeguarding, bad behaviour disrupting lessons and ‘poor relations’ between TBAP and the academy’s staff. A third of the staff including the head were absent when Ofsted called. Inspectors said the TBAP trust board didn’t ‘monitor the school’s work closely enough’. This resulted in trustees having an ‘inaccurate’ view of the AP’s effectiveness.
Inspectors list two strengths: provision for primary-aged children and ‘recent interim arrangements…made by the trust to bolster the school’s leadership’ were starting ‘to have a positive impact’.
TBAP was sent a financial notice to improve in August 2018. When Panorama asked schools minister Lord Agnew about TBAP’s problems, the minister said TBAP’s CEO had taken his ‘eye off the ball and the governance was not strong enough to blow the whistle on him’.
But, as Schools Week points out, ‘the Department for Education had allowed the trust [TBAP} to take over two schools and approved bids for it to open two new free schools – despite it being £1 million in deficit and the government monitoring its finances.’
It appears it’s not just TBAP’s CEO who’s taken an eye off the ball.