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.
Six academies were inspected as part of the focused inspection in May 2015, of which 4 were inspected for the first time and 2 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 13 other academies and inspectors undertook a follow-up visit to CfBT’s national office. As part of this visit, discussions were held with senior and operational staff from the central trust team, executive headteachers, consultant headteachers, trustees, representatives of local governance 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.
CfBT Schools Trust (CST) was set up by CfBT Education Trust in January 2011. The trust now consists of 19 schools of which 12 are primary and 7 are secondary. Of the 19 schools, 15 are academies and 4 are free schools. Five sponsor-led academies joined CfBT during the academic year 2013/2014. The trust academies are dispersed widely covering 12 local authority areas in 5 different Ofsted regions.
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.