New council-led trust could be created to support schools

Stock picture.
Stock picture.

Schools which convert into academies could become part of an educational trust set up by Wakefield Council.

Plans to explore the creation of a local authority-led Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) were approved by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday.

Schools currently controlled by the local authority could potentially join the council MAT if they choose to opt out and become academies.

A report to the meeting said: “The MAT would enable maintained schools and stand-alone academies to retain a close partnership with Wakefield LA and continue to develop their school in a way that will best serve its local community whilst providing support and challenge.

“It should be noted that a significant number of Local authorities are actively exploring this option and are looking to move at a relatively fast pace to create MATs in the near future, on the assumption that revised legislation will support this.”

The report said the government was consulting on ending the Education Services Grant, which is worth £2.3m a year to Wakefield Council.

The council currently receives almost £18m a year from providing services to schools and academies.

The report added: “The creation of a MAT should help in both sustaining and increasing this income for when further schools convert to academy as some services only become chargeable when supporting an academy.

Of the district’s 139 schools, 67 have so far converted to become academies.