Department of Education warns Trust running Charles Read to make substantial improvements

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The trust that runs The Charles Read Academy in Corby Glen is one of seven across the country to be told it is under-performing and must improve.

The West Grantham Academies Trust has received a “pre-warning” letter from the Department for Education, with ministers demanding urgent action to bring about substantial improvements, or they will receive a warning notice.

If improvement does not follow after that, further action could be taken including a change in sponsorship.

The academies trust announced last month its intention to close the school by September 2014 citing falling pupil numbers and a change in Government funding.

The 230 pupils at Charles Read will transfer to St Hugh’s Academy in Grantham, which is also run by West Grantham Academies Trust.

In league tables recently published, just 38 per cent of Charles Read pupils achieved five A*-C grades at GCSE. But trust chief executive Trudy Brothwell said there was no link between the proposed closure and attainment at the school.

The Department of Education said eight academies were sent similar letters last year and “largely responded extremely well to the challenge”. It is expected that the West Grantham Academies Trust and others follow suit.

A Department of Education spokesman said: “The majority of sponsored academies are thriving under great leadership. Their GCSE results are improving at five times the rate of other state-funded schools.

“Sponsored academies took over schools that were consistently under-performing which can take time to reverse.

“But results in a minority of sponsored academies remain stubbornly low. We will not tolerate long-term under-performance in any school – including in an academy.

“As with maintained schools, if these academies do not make the progress we expect, we will take further action. This may result in a change to the sponsorship arrangements.”