The inspections are part of a concerted programme of action by Ofsted to establish the effectiveness of a multi-academy trust in supporting and challenging academy schools within individual chains.
Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) inspected 7 academies as part of the focused inspection between 17 and 19 November 2015. Four of these were full inspections and 3 were monitoring inspections. The academies were all due for an inspection by the end of this academic year.
Along with the inspections, telephone discussions were held with the principals of 18 other academies. A follow-up visit to AET was also conducted where HMI held discussions with senior and operational staff, principals, trustees and governors, strategic partners and other stakeholders. Inspectors also scrutinised a range of relevant documentation.
The Secretary of State for Education wrote to Ofsted on 22 January 2015 clarifying the arrangements for the focused inspection of academies. In the first week, Ofsted inspects a number of the trust’s academies. Inspectors also hold telephone conversations with other academy principals. In the following week inspectors now visit Multi-Academy Trust central offices and hold discussions with staff from the trust. They consider a range of other evidence alongside the results from the focused inspections.
AET was set up in 2008. It is the largest multi-academy trust in the country, with 67 academies. It comprises 30 secondary academies, 32 primary academies and 5 special academies.
The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children’s social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children’s services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.