School trust's good intentions have failed, says Ofsted

Stock image of student Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Bishop Anthony Educational Trust was established in 2013 and runs 16 schools

An educational trust which runs 16 schools was set up with "good moral intentions" but has failed, according to a watchdog.

Bishop Anthony Educational Trust (BAET) runs schools across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.

An Ofsted inspection found while most of the schools were good or outstanding, the trust overall was not effective enough.

The trust said it was "moving in the right direction".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The Hereford Academy, which joined the trust in 2014, was rated inadequate

Ofsted inspected BAET in March and found not enough had been done to support struggling schools, which it said was "unacceptable".

Four schools were rated inadequate, one required improvement and the remaining 11 were either good or outstanding.

Ofsted found "too much improvement happens in isolation" and recommended a system be put in place to improve the trust's overall effectiveness.

"BAET was set up with good moral intentions and a clear purpose," the report reads. "However, this has failed."

The weakest schools and lowest achieving pupils were found to have been particularly let down.

Ofsted's findings:

  • Head teachers are frustrated with trust leadership and poor communication
  • No effective action to address the performance of disadvantaged pupils
  • Schools have not been challenged or supported to improve

"Pupils in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire deserve to have as good an education as those in other parts of the country," James McNeillie, from Ofsted, said.

"The Bishop Anthony Educational Trust was set up to do just that, but we have found that its good intentions have not brought about the change that is needed to improve pupils' experience."

Andrew Teale, BAET's CEO, said Ofsted's evaluation was "very disappointing" and recognised there was "a lot of work to do".

However, he said he had "no doubt BAET has been moving in the right direction" and was "on the right track" in many areas.

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