MPs call for meeting over academies’ futures

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Three of the district’s MPs have written to the government’s education secretary following the collapse of the Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT).

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett, Yvette Cooper for Pontefract, Castleford and Normanton, and Wakefield MP Mary Creagh have asked Justine Greening for a meeting with a Department for Education minister “as soon as possible”.

They plan to discuss the crisis-hit academy chain, which ceased running its 21 Yorkshire schools last month.

Talks have been held to find new leadership for the schools, including eight in the Wakefield district. And a list of potential new sponsors was released by the DfE last week.

Mr Tickett said: “We want to see what the department intends to do to ensure this problem is resolved without the education of our pupils suffering.

“We also want to make the points that people in the community are making to us, that there are parents worried about their kids’ education, and that there are teachers worried about their jobs.”

He added: “We still haven’t been told what went wrong for WCAT. We aren’t being kept up to speed. We want to get the voice of our communities properly heard.”

The DfE proposal would see Bell Lane, Havercroft, Heath View, Hemsworth, Kinsley, Normanton Freeston, Wakefield City and West End academies taken over by Outwood Grange Academies Trust.

The department is seeking people’s views on the potential new sponsors ahead of the final decisions being made.

WCAT will eventually be disbanded once the new organisations officially take over.

People can submit their views by emailing academies.rebrokerage@education.gov.uk