Academy hub sponsor Bright Tribe has decided not to take over The Durham Federation, comprised of Fyndoune Community College and Durham Community Business College.
The schools were put in special measures in September 2014, but a monitoring inspection carried out in April 2016 established that the leaders and managers were taking effective action towards the removal of special measures.
A spokesperson for Bright Tribe said that the Federation joining the trust “is not viable” due to the “level of financial support required to subsidise the operation”.
A Department for Education spokesperson told SCHOOLS NorthEast: “We are disappointed that we have not been able to secure a sponsor for Durham Federation at this time.
“We are now working closely with Durham local authority and the Durham Federation interim executive board to formulate a new plan for the schools.”
Bright Tribe is among five sponsors chosen by the Department for Education last year to set up academy hubs in the north of England. The former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced at the time that nearly £5m would be given to the sponsors to drive up standards in areas of “greatest need”.
Bright Tribe was the subject of an Education Funding Agency review of its financial management and governance which found a number of breaches of the Academies Financial Handbook.
The Department for Education listed Bright Tribe as a “well established sponsor with a proven track record of successfully managing geographically dispersed academy hubs, making it well-matched to the challenge of working in the north”.