Aspire Academy to be taken over by Beckmead Trust

Education: Secondary / Mon 2nd Mar 2020 at 09:46am

A TRUST that specialises in working with children with challenging behaviour has been tasked with turning around a Harlow academy plagued by financial struggles reports the Epping Forest Guardian.

The Aspire Academy in Harlow, which opened in 2014, is being taken over by the Beckmead Trust, following approval from the Department for Education.

The Academy, an alternative provision school for previously excluded students, made headlines last year when headteacher Deb Garfield invited BBC Panorama’s cameras into the school to document the its financial struggles.

At the time of filming, TBAP Academy was £2.4 million in debt, the BBC reported.

Two months later, the academy was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted and placed in special measures after inspectors found over one third of staff to be absent on the day of the inspection.

Beckmead Trust has been providing improvement support since September and will take fill control from April 1.

Ofsted reported positively on the progress Aspire had made with Beckmead’s support in a monitoring report it published in December. I

Inspectors said that the school was “taking effective action towards the removal of special measures”.

Dr Jonty Clark OBE, The Beckmead Trust’s chief executive officer, said: “We are pleased that we have been able to bring stability and make progress since we started our work with Aspire and happy that Ofsted is positive with the improvements. I am also grateful for the support we have received from Essex County Council.

“There is more to do but we have brought an expert, proven model to Aspire to achieve the improvements to date and will continue to practise the same committed, empathetic and highly skilled approach to maintain and sustain the progress.

“We are looking forward to building on the start made so that the young people at Aspire get the first-class education they deserve as soon as possible.”

The Beckmead Trust specialises in support for traumatised children and young people with social, emotional and mental health issues, autism and challenging behaviour.

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