Meeting to demand answers over demise of Wakefield City Academies Trust

Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy is one of WCAT's 21 schools.
Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy is one of WCAT's 21 schools.

Answers will be demanded over the collapse of an academy trust which runs 21 schools at a public meeting on Friday.

The demise of Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) will be discussed at the event, organised by union leaders and Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett.

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett.

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett.

Parents and school staff are invited to the meeting at Hemsworth Community Centre following the shock news that WCAT would pull out of running its entire chain of academies.

Questions have been raised over the financial management of WCAT after the announcement was made just days into the new school term.

Mr Trickett said there was not enough oversight of academy schools which are outside local authority control.

He said: “It is totally outrageous that local people cannot have their say over the running of their own schools.

“There is appears to be no accountability to the community and understandably people feel like they have no control over local education provision.

“People have lost faith in the government’s failed Academy project.”

Mr Trickett has asked the National Audit Office to launch an investigation into WCAT.

Education secretary Justine Greening was also asked to hold a consultation on the future of WCAT’s schools and a petition was launched calling for them to be returned to council control.

Sally Kincaid, joint branch secretary of Wakefield and District National Education Union (NEU), said: “These schools should be allowed to return to the local authority and the treasury should provide the funds so local authorities can give these schools the support and stability they need. Imagine if WCAT was a bank or railway company.”

The meeting, hosted by Hemsworth Town Council, will be held at 7pm on Friday (September 29) at Hemsworth Community Centre, on Bullenshaw Road.