Ministers 'incompetent' over Wakefield academies collapse - MPs

Education Secretary Justine Greening
Education Secretary Justine Greening

YORKSHIRE MPs have accused the Government of "incompetence" over the collapse of an academy chain leaving questions over the future management of 21 schools.

Education Secretary Justine Greening faced calls for a review of the academy model after Wakefield City Academies Trust announced it was withdrawing its support from the schools on Friday.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh told the Commons the collapse of the trust came as a "bolt from the blue" for parents and children at the schools affected.

But Ms Creagh also pointed to a report leaked last year on the trust's multi-million pound deficit and the thousands of pounds it had paid to an education consultant.

She called on the Government to make sure children did not lose out because of "financial mismanagement" and the Department for Education's "incompetence".

Pontefract, Castleford and Normanton MP Yvette Cooper said there has been "huge problems" with the trust over a long period.

She continued: "This is a model that her department has been pushing all these schools into.

"Isn't it time she had a full review of the complete failure of local accountability in these multi-academy trusts and also made sure there is enough finance and support in place for the pupils in my constituency to make sure they don't lose out as a result of this failed management?"

Ms Greening said the Government was taking "swift action" to find new sponsors for the schools affected.

She added: "I have to say I wish that the Labour Party had been so passionate about raising standards when it was actually in government.

"What children actually got across the country under Labour in government was falling standards, grade inflation and employers getting young people coming into work without the basic skills."