Writing to the Secretary of State for Education, Bradford East MP, Imran Hussain, has hit out at the Government over their decision to appoint the disgraced Delta Academies Trust as the sponsor of Hanson School without informing the school or parents.
Hanson School was first ordered to convert to an academy by the then Secretary of State for Education in 2011 with the imposition of an academy order on the school that was first taken up by the Schools Partnership Trust (SPTA). Yet following the collapse of this deal in 2015, no permanent academy trust has lasted as the sponsor of the school, with numerous trusts having come and gone from the school.
However, whilst Delta Academies Trust has now reportedly been identified as a sponsor for Hanson School by the Regional Schools Commissioner and the Department of Education, this new trust is, in reality, simply a rebrand of the SPTA, and shares many of the same senior staff as the trust that initially failed Hanson School before withdrawing from the school.
The decision to appoint Delta Academies Trust has also lacked a formal discussion process or announcement, with Imran, the school’s management, and the Local Education Authority all learning of the decision from an admission by the Regional Schools Commissioner for Lancashire and West Yorkshire at the Education Select Committee and a draft agenda for a meeting of the Lancashire and West Yorkshire Headteacher Board on 15 July 2020.
Imran has therefore accused the Government of deliberately keeping parents of children at Hanson School in the dark over the future of the school, particularly given Delta Academies Trust’s record at the school when operating as the SPTA, as well as at other schools operated by the trust which have faced accusations of abusive and humiliating disciplinary processes, and has urged the Government to come clean on their plans and instead return the school to local authority control.
Speaking on the future of Hanson School, Imran said:
“Hanson School has spent a decade under a failed academisation process because of bad decisions taken by the Regional Schools Commissioner, and many children have now gone through their secondary education at Hanson without any stability in the leadership of the school. It’s therefore deeply important that we get this issue right and resolve the troubling situation at Hanson to provide this stability.
“However, for the Government and the Regional Schools Commissioner to think that appointing the same failed sponsor as before, just under a different name, without any discussion with parents and expecting a different result is simply madness and should leave us all extremely concerned about the decisions being made by the Government’s Education Ministers.
“Instead, it’s clear from the last 10 years that the academy model has failed Hanson School time and time again. The Government must now see sense and return the school to local authority control and ownership to end the uncertainty for pupils, teachers and parents, and to protect children’s education.”