Thrive Partnership Academy Trust: suspended former exec principal finds new job as assistant director of education

Janet Downs's picture


The suspended former executive principal of Thrive Partnership Academy Trust (TPAT), Catherine Hutley, has been appointed assistant director of Education for Mid Essex, Private Eye* reports. 

A highly-critical report by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, dated November 2018 but not published until nearly a year later, said TPAT’s board suspended CEO Nardeep Sharma and Hutley ‘without prejudice’ after  ‘allegations of inappropriate conduct and financial mismanagement’ were received.

ESFA said the trust board had commissioned independent investigations but these weren’t finished when ESFA drafted its report.

The independent investigations have now been completed, Freedom of Information reveals.  But ESFA only has the one concerning Sharma.  It does not hold the completed investigation for Hutley.

ESFA has withheld the report about Sharma on the following grounds**:

1         Law enforcement: the Department for Education is still scrutinising the completed document.  Disclosure could ‘hinder’ any future interventions into serious misconduct.

2         The investigation report contains personal information (author’s note: this could be redacted).

3         Information was provided in confidence.

It’s not known why the investigation report about Hutley isn’t held by ESFA.  I have asked the DfE when the department expects to receive it.

In the meantime, Hutley started her new job as Assistant Director of Education in September.  The role was advertised with a salary of ‘up to £90,000’, the Eye reports, somewhat short of her former TPAT salary of between £145k and £150k. 

TPAT is in the process of being wound up.  It is not known whether Hutley's work will bring her in contact with TPAT's former academies: both are in Colchester.  They were transferred to Sigma Tust on 1 September.


*Edition 1509,15 November – 28 November 2019

** Exemptions recognised under the Freedom of Information Act.

CORRECTION: 19.44: Updated to include Sharma's full name and his role at Thrive


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