From education to employment


High-performing academy trusts are being encouraged to grow and support more schools across England, supported by £17 million announced today by the Education Secretary Damian Hinds (Friday 19 July).

The Trust Capacity Fund will be used by high performing academy trusts to build on the rising standards in many sponsored academy schools, by ensuring they can provide support to communities and schools that need it most.

Figures published last week showed that there are 380,000 children now studying in good or outstanding sponsored academies that were previously underperforming council-run schools – and that 7 in 10 previously under-performing schools, have been rated good or outstanding by Ofsted since becoming an academy – compared to 1 in 10 under local authority control.

Alongside this the Government is setting out more details on a new package of support, worth an estimated £16.5million, to support 2,400 underperforming schools to improve their leadership.

Education Secretary, Damian Hinds said:

“Strong academy trusts across the country are already supporting schools in many of the communities that need it the most and this funding will help this to happen in even more areas.

“Academies are at the heart of our reforms to education and just last week new data revealed that the last year has seen 80,000 more children studying in good or outstanding sponsored academies that were previously run by local authorities which is why we must continue to give these charitable institutions the opportunity to turn around more schools.”

Launching in September and providing funding until the end of the financial year, the Trust Capacity fund will build on the success of previous rounds of funding awarded to successful academy trusts to help tackle underperformance and improve schools.

It will:

  • Support strong academy trusts across the country to provide assistance to communities and schools are most in need of school improvement
  • Provide high-potential academy trusts, who have emerging capacity to improve other schools, with funding to meet challenges associated with taking on more schools in different contexts as they develop, deploy school improvement support quickly across a trust, and support collaboration between schools.
  • Support smaller academy trusts that wish to merge into existing or new academy trusts, creating new clusters of schools

The Department for Education has also set out a package of bespoke support that will be available for schools with a ‘requires improvement’ judgement from Ofsted today, from expert education leaders who will provide them with tailored support and advice from National Leaders of Education to help them improve. 

A more intensive offer of leadership guidance, plus up to £16,000 in support, will be available to schools with two consecutive ‘requires improvement’ judgements from Ofsted, to help them improve in a sustainable way, forming part of an estimated £16.5million worth of support from the Government to around 2,400 schools nationwide. The Department will be contacting schools throughout the 2019/20 academic year to offer this support package.

This follows the Secretary of State’s commitment at the National Association of Headteachers conference earlier this year, to use Ofsted’s ‘requires improvement’ judgement as the only trigger for offering tailored support to leadership teams, to help their schools to improve and relieve unnecessary pressures on head teachers and leaders. 

This also comes as the Department for Education publishes new research on the type of school improvement practices used in high performing countries, offering the Department the chance review a variety of different practices that can be applied to schools in England. 

Contributing to the Government’s work to raise education standards, the report highlights that the school improvement principles used by the Department are also in place in countries with successful education systems. There is, however, still more to learn about which approaches to school improvement work best in practice.

Related Articles