New sponsor chosen for Forest of Dean academy

Pupils during an English lesson
Image caption Prospects Academies Trust was founded in 2012 but announced within two years it was to fold

A new sponsor has been confirmed for an academy in Gloucestershire, eight months after the trust it was part of announced it was folding.

Prospects Academies Trust said in May it would fold once it had found new sponsors for its six academies.

The Department of Education (DfE) said it had now chosen the Wiltshire-based Malmesbury Trust to take over The Dean Academy in Lydney.

The trust has one school left to offload - Gloucester Academy.

In a letter to parents, The Dean Academy's principal David Gaston wrote that Malmesbury School was "outstanding" and has training school status "which means that they are equipped to provide support for staff development".

'Unhappy history'

He stressed there would no changes to The Dean Academy name, the school uniform or the staffing structure.

As for Gloucester Academy, the DfE said it was continuing to work to appoint a suitable sponsor, although a National Union of Teachers (NUT) representative locally said he understood a new sponsor had been found and was in the process of applying for approval.

John Pemberthy, NUT National Executive member and Gloucestershire division secretary, said: "I am pleased for the sake of the students and staff of these schools that they will hopefully feel a greater sense of security from these new arrangements, but the history of sponsored academies in Gloucestershire, which I have opposed from the start, is not a happy one.

"Prospects, E-Act and AET have all taken on schools in the county but have failed to show any benefits in exchange for the top-slicing of the school budgets.

"The NUT believes that many of these academies would be better off returning to local authority control."

Deals to re-broker Prospects' other four academies - three of which were in Devon and one in East Sussex - were arranged by 1 December.

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