Bradford school left in limbo on academy conversion

Hanson Academy sign outside the school.  Photo: Glen Minikin / rossparry.co.uk
Hanson Academy sign outside the school. Photo: Glen Minikin / rossparry.co.uk
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A SCHOOL which has gone into special measures “has been left in limbo” after contractual issues over other buildings on its site have held up its conversion into an academy for several years.

Hanson School, in Bradford, was rated as inadequate by Ofsted last week in a report which said it had been failing to ensure pupils were safe.

The report also noted that the school had been in the process of trying to become an academy for the past four years.

The school has been attempting to join the School Partnership Trust Academies (SPTA) chain and has been calling itself Hanson Academy.

But it has emerged that an agreement has not been reached over exactly what the academy sponsor would take on as a result of the conversion. There is currently a fitness centre run in partnership with the school which is understood to be part of the unresolved issue.

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “Once the decision was made to convert to an academy at Hanson, the council would have preferred for the conversion to academy status to happen sooner.

“However, an agreement between the Department for Education and the proposed academy sponsors could not be reached about liabilities which the school had entered into around buildings and therefore the conversion stalled.”

In a statement the SPTA said: “There have been some delays in the transfer of contracts from the school and local authority which have had an impact on the timing of the conversion process. These contractual issues still remain unresolved.”

John Howarth, the Bradford branch secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “The school has been left in limbo by this situation and I do think this has been a factor in the difficulty the school is now in.”