A WEYMOUTH school has announced it is to be taken over by a multi-academy trust.

School leaders announced yesterday that Budmouth College is to be taken over by Aspiration Academy Trust - the same trust which operates Atlantic Academy in Portland.

The news comes just a week after the school announced principal Richard Jacobs would not be returning from a sudden leave of absence he took in November.

A meeting was held by the regional schools commissioners (RSC), which approves new academies and intervenes in underperforming academies, and the headteacher board, who advise and challenge RSC, on Monday.

The Aspirations takeover was announced in a statement on the school website yesterday.

It said: "The decision made by the RSC and headteacher board yesterday was that Aspiration Academy Trust will be taking over Budmouth College from September 1 2019.

"Aspiration Academy Trust would like to meet with parents as soon as possible and a meeting will be arranged in due course."

Catherine Shaw, chairman of the school's Interim Executive Board (IEB), said the school had wanted the opportunity to come out of special measures and stay as a local authority school but this had not been possible.

"A decision has been made and we will work very closely with the trust to make it as smooth a transition as possible," she said. "We want the best for Budmouth and the best for Budmouth's young people."

Miss Shaw added the decision was still subject to due diligence.

It is hoped the move will be the beginning of a turnaround for the school, which was handed an 'inadequate' rating in May 2018 and placed into special measures.

It had previously been assessed as outstanding in 2010 and 2013.

Steve Kenning, managing director of Aspirations said the trust hoped to transform the school into something the community could be proud of.

"We are delighted with this decision and foresee an excellent future for the college, its students and the local community. We believe that Budmouth College has the potential to be a truly outstanding school, delivering high level qualifications and the skills required for success in the world today," he said. "Our aim is to develop Budmouth College into a school that lies at the heart of the local community, serving young people of all backgrounds and abilities."

Aspiration Academy Trust is based in Hounslow and operates 13 mainstream primary or secondary schools operating in southern England including four in Dorset.

Aspirations Academy Trust took over the then failing IPACA just under two years ago, renaming it as Atlantic Academy Portland.

A spokesman for the trust said Atlantic was already developing well and last year was in the top 20 most improved schools for progress in the country.

"Aspirations intend for Budmouth College to benefit from the expertise across the Trust working closely with Atlantic Academy Portland in order to provide an enhanced educational provision for local young people," he said.


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