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Have the wheels fallen off the Academy bandwagon?

Have the wheels fallen off the Academy bandwagon?

With a falling roll, weak standards and chronic financial issues, it was placed in special measures earlier this year amid calls for its sponsor, the Academies Enterprise Trust, to be driven off the island.

None of this is exceptional but what happened next, in its small way, certainly is. The Sandown Bay academy, with the support of a Tory-led council, a Conservative MP and the Department for Education, is being closed, then merged with a local primary into an all-through council-run school. The Isle of Wight children’s services are now run by the high-performing Hampshire county council. In this solitary outpost, the academy movement finally ran out of road.

It is almost 20 years since the Labour government set out to create a new generation of independent state schools free of local authority control and funded directly by central government.

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