ASCL does not support the proposals in this consultation, which we believe are overly heavy-handed and may create perverse incentives in the system.
There is no legal definition of a ‘strong trust’, which the proposals reference several times. The criteria for a strong trust should be defined, following consultation, before any attempt to move schools and academies in this position into a trust is implemented.
Schools and academies which have previously been graded inadequate, but are now requires improvement, are clearly on an improvement trajectory. It would seem perverse and counterproductive to move them into a trust, or from one trust to another, if they are making improvements.
Schools which are requires improvement are likely to have specific strengths and specific weaknesses. If intervention is required, then the school should be supported by a trust or other organisation which can meet and support their specific needs – not just one which happens to meet the generic definition of a ‘strong trust’.
Full response to consultation