Desperate measures are being taken to prevent more MAT scandals – but it’s too little, too late
The cat is now out of the bag when it comes to the oversight and accountability of multi-academy trusts (MATs). The abject failure of Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) and Bright Tribe Trust, to support and improve the schools in these MATs is now too public, and too pressing, to be swept under the carpet.
Certainly, the failure of these MATs dominated this week’s Education Select Committee hearing, to which Sir David Carter, the national schools commissioner, Lord Theodore Agnew, parliamentary undersecretary of state for the school system, Vicky Beer, regional schools commissioner for Lancashire and West Yorkshire (whose patch includes Wakefield), and John Edwards, regional schools commissioner for East Midlands and the Humber, appeared as witnesses.
They had a torrid time. The MPs on the committee, from all parties, had fish to fry. Time and time again they returned to the issue of “complacency” in government oversight of MATs.