40,000 children trapped in ‘zombie’ academy schools

Education ministers urged to investigate after failed trusts leave pupils in limbo

The government has been urged to review its policy on multi-academy trusts after it was revealed that more than 40,000 children were being educated in “zombie schools” waiting to be transferred to another academy chain.

Department for Education figures, obtained through a freedom of information request, show 64 academy schools are waiting to find a new sponsor after being abandoned by, or stripped from, the trust originally managing them. A calculation using the average number of pupils in state-funded primary and secondary schools in England – 279 and 946, respectively –suggests the 64 schools would contain more than 40,000 students.

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