Troubled Deanery school to be transferred to another multi-academy trust

By Barrie Hudson - 12 January 2024


The Deanery CE Academy in Wichelstowe is to be handed over to another multi-academy trust.

In addition, every school in the Diocese of Bristol Academy Trust (DBAT) is to be similarly transferred and the trust itself cease to operate.

Early last November, Ofsted inspectors branded the school 'Inadequate' following an inspection carried out on 12 and 13 September.

The Chief Inspector said of Swindon's newest secondary school: "This school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school."

Parents have now been contacted by Nigel Daniel, DBAT Chair of Trustees.

He wrote: "In September 2023, the Deanery received a Special Measures judgement from Ofsted. This led to a Termination Warning Notice being issued to DBAT from the Department for Education (DfE) which advised that they were minded to re-broker the Deanery to another multi-academy trust.   

"Following on from this, DBAT has been engaged in discussion with the DfE about the next steps for the school.  The DfE have now confirmed that the Deanery will be re-brokered to another multi-academy trust.  The majority of TWNs (Termination Warning Notice) do result in this outcome. We are sorry that this is the result, and we remain committed to ensuring the strong progress made in the school over recent months carries on, at pace, as we work with the trust that will take the Deanery into their family of schools. 

"DBAT Trustees have taken the decision that Kingfisher [the Kingfisher CE Academy primary school] should transfer with the Deanery, to the new trust, protecting the campus model that the schools work within, and the benefits and opportunities that this brings. The DfE have confirmed their agreement to this."

The message continued: "As a result of the inevitable changes to the financing of the trust as a result, and after a detailed review of how we could continue to support our remaining schools, the Trustees have also reached the decision to start the process to transfer all DBAT schools to other multi-academy trusts and cease the operation of DBAT.  This decision has not been taken lightly but has been taken with children at the heart of it. Trustees are united in the view that this decision will allow each of  our schools to be in a family of schools where there is greater levels of resource, and capacity, available to support them. 

"The DfE have not yet formally confirmed their agreement.    

"At this stage, a new trust/trusts have not been confirmed and we cannot provide a timetable for the transfer of schools.  We anticipate that this will develop at pace throughout the remainder of this academic year and we will ensure that you are provided with regular updates. The transfer is not expected to result in any changes to your school staff structure.    

"We remain absolutely committed to ensuring that our schools receive the best support that we can, and working proactively as new partner trusts are confirmed to ensure a smooth transition, and with the maximum benefit for children."


Your Comments

Be the first to comment on this article

Login or Register to post a comment on this article

Subscribe to The Link

Registered in England & Wales. No: 4513027, Positive Media Group, Old Bank House, 5 Devizes Road, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 4BJ