Majority of Bright Tribe’s £1m ‘northern hub’ funding spent on senior staff

The Bright Tribe academy trust has already spent “the majority” of a £1 million grant to help to encourage expansion in the north of England, despite taking on only three schools in the region, Lord Agnew has revealed.

The academies minister has written to members of the parliamentary education committee in response to questions asked during a recent hearing about £1 million in “northern hub” funding paid to the trust in late 2015.

His letter reveals that “most” of the cash has already been spent on new senior staff for the trust, which is currently in discussions about walking away from all of its schools in the region.

MPs and local education officials are campaigning hard to have the £1 million returned to the government and be reinvested.

According to Agnew, the trust was given the funding so it could take on “three to five” schools in the region, the majority of which were to be rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

Since the funding was allocated in November 2015, three additional academies have opened under the trust’s sponsorship: Grindon Hall Christian School in Sunderland, and the Haltwistle Community Campus upper and lower schools in Northumberland. Both Grindon Hall and Haltwistle Upper School were previously ‘inadequate’.

Read the full article in Schools Week.

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