IOW Council Wants To Kick Out Academies Trust

Councillors are calling for an academy chain to be stopped from managing any schools on the Isle of Wight.

AET wants to merge its Sandown Bay and Ryde academies, saying it can't afford to run both.

Following the decision of the school's operators, Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) to merge them, an extraordinary meeting of the Full Council was held yesterday (Wednesday) to discuss the issue. All members present voted to ask the government to remove education trust, AET, from the role of managing any school on the Island - and to take steps to either establish or promote and encourage the establishment of an accountable new local body to take on the management and running of Sandown Bay Academy.

The council says a number of outline options have already been identified by senior education officers to preserve the school and are being worked on in detail with the Cabinet member for children's services, Councillor Chris Whitehouse, and council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart. The options will now be worked into full business cases as a matter of urgency, and progress will be reported back.

Councillor Chris Whitehouse said: 

"The unanimous support for this Motion sends a clear and unambiguous message to Ministers, to the Schools Commissioner and to AET, that Sandown wants, needs and should have its own secondary school. We are determined to do all that we can to deliver that."

Full Council expressed its renewed commitment to do all in its power to ensure that secondary education is retained in Sandown for the students of Sandown Bay Academy and for future generations of local children.

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