Troubled school Aspire Academy taken over by new trust

A TRUST specialised in working with children with challenging behaviour has taken the reigns at a Harlow academy previously plagued by financial struggles reports the Epping Forest Guardian.

The Beckmead Moundwood Academy in Harlow, previously known as The Aspire Academy, has been taken over by the Beckmead Trust.

The trust – which specialises in support for traumatised children and young people with social, emotional and mental health issues , autism and challenging behaviour – has been providing improvement support at the academy since September of last year.

Dr Jonty Clark OBE, The Beckmead Trust’s chief executive officer, said: “Our approach is underpinned by a belief in what young people can achieve and an understanding of how they can flourish.

“We have a strong sense of community, we believe in social justice our highly committed, empathetic and skilled team of staff care deeply for the children and young people in our care, giving us the right to educate them, so that they can lead successful and confident lives.

“We have already made good progress at Moundwood and look forward to continuing that so that the students receive the highest quality education and support possible.”

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 its financial struggles.

She told reporters the academy had been starved of cash since it was taken over by the TBAP Multi-Academy Trust in December 2017.

The academy had been served with final notices over late payments for water, gas, electricity, phone, cleaning services, and bin disposal services

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.

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