Damning Ofsted assessment of E-Act academies: “overwhelming proportion of pupils…not receiving a good education”, says letter released today

Janet Downs's picture

“E-Act has not been effective in improving its academies.”

Ofsted letter 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:

1  E-Act has the lowest proportion of good or better academies among the ten largest multi-academy trusts.

2  11 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.

4  Seven of the twelve E-Act secondary academies which have data were in the lowest 40% of similar schools for progress in English.

5  In 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:

1  Poor quality teaching
2  Work not matched to pupils’ abilities
3  Weak monitoring
4  Poor use of assessment data
5 Insufficiently 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".


FORMATTING problems put right Novemer 2019

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Be notified by email of each new post.

Add new comment

Already a member? Click here to log in before you comment. Or register with us.