E-Act academy under closure threat following slump in numbers still inadequate

Janet Downs's picture

E-Act, a long-established academy trust with a chequered history, took over Burnham Upper School in April 2012 and renamed it E-Act Burnham Park Academy.

In the last five years, pupil numbers at E-Act Burnham Park ‘have declined drastically’, wrote inspectors after visiting in March.  The academy remained inadequate.

Last year, E-Act announced it would close the academy citing falling numbers.  But the slump took place during E-Act’s tenure.   Inspectors said Burnham Park ‘has not provided a good quality of education for its pupils since opening as an academy in 2012’.   During this time the academy seems to have been locked in a cycle of decline: staff turbulence, recruitment difficulties and closure of the sixth form.

‘…over time, trustees, the regional education team and school leaders have overseen a decline in pupils’ outcomes, attendance and the quality of teaching, learning and assessment,’ Ofsted said.

The fault surely lies with E-Act.  Inspectors say the head and his team ‘are passionately committed to the pupils and frustrated by the proposed closure’.  

A decision hasn’t been made yet but E-Act trustees have told the academy’s leaders to concentrate on relocating pupils and staff to a nearby Bourne End E-Act Academy, inspectors wrote.  E-Act has only been running Bourne End since September 2018.  

Given E-Act’s troubled past and the 2016 inadequate judgement of Burnham Park, it’s hard to understand why the regional schools commissioner gave permission for E-Act to take over Bourne End.  Since then, E-Act has been warned it risks losing funding for two of its academies after they were judged inadequate.

Unsurprisingly, this threat hanging over E-Act does not feature in a letter* dated 15 May sent by David Moran, E-Act’s Chief Executive Officer, updating parents about the proposed move to Bourne End.   The trust had tried to put off Ofsted saying the academy could be closing but inspectors were not deterred.  The trust feels the report ‘fails to accurately reflect Burnham Park E-ACT Academy’s progression in recent years.’

E-Act is writing its ‘formal response’ to the public consultation about closing Burnham Park and this should be available this month.


*I have seen the letter but am unable to provide a link.   It does not appear to be publicly available on Burnham Park’s website. 

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Jane's picture
Sat, 18/05/2019 - 11:04

This is taken from my log, going back to 2009:
E-Act (as Edutrust) Misspending of money, Lord Bhatia resigns
Chain Criticism of high salary for Liddington
E-Act Leeds East Sudden resignation of head and chair of governors
St Ursula's E-Act Acad. Ofsted "requires improvement"
The Winsford E-Act Acad Ofsted "requires improvement"
Notice to improve financial management
Report by EFA on financial management
Chain Academy boss quits over probe into school finances
Forest E-Act Ofsted "requires improvement"
Financial irregularities Liddngton resigns £300k job
Crest Boys Ofsted "inadequate" 3 month delay in publishing
Crest Girls Ofsted "inadequate" 3 month delay in publishing
Leeds East Ofsted "inadequate"
Trent Valley Academy Ofsted "inadequate"
DSLV E-Act Ofsted "requires improvement"
Crest Boys Crest Boys 'Inadequate"
Willenhall E-Act "Inadequate"
E-Act East Leeds Pre-warning notice letter
Taunton Academy "Inadequate" -March 13 - not enough progress made Dec
Nechells Primary Inadequate
The Parker E-Act Ofsted "inadequate"
The Purston E-Act Ofsted "inadequate"
West Walsall E-Act Ofsted "inadequate"
Willenhall E-Act S8 not able to appoint newly qualified teachers
Winsford E-Act Academy Ofsted "requires improvement"
Overall 2013 GCSE results below floor target
Chain told to hand back 10 failing schools
Kidderminster Free Private school having debts paid off to create free school
Breaches of Charity Commission code and extravagant "expenses"
Stripped of 10 academies
Chain told it cannot expand further - following concerns
Hartsbrook E-Act (free) "Inadequate"
Oldham Academy North Ofsted "requires improvement"
Sherwood E-Act Academy Academy due to close: falling rolls after academisation
Hartsbrook E-Act (free) School being taken over by Lion Acads Trust
criticised by Ofsted
Leeds East Leeds West Council have to sort out mess left by E-Act being forced to pull out
Mansfield Green E-Act Inadequate
Parker E-Act only 112 students apply (PAN 250)
Willenhall E-Act Requires improvement
DSLV E-Act Academy inadequate
Pathways E-Act Primary Requires improvement
Scrapping governing bodies
Willenhall E-Act Inadequate
Willenhall E-Act Pupils pelt inspectors with food
Bourne End Academy change of trust

Janet Downs's picture
Sat, 18/05/2019 - 11:20

Thanks Jane.  It's a sorry tale indeed.

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