The Academies Enterprise Trust – AET – is the largest privately-run chain of academies – 66 schools.
Four of them are in Birmingham: Four Dwellings secondary and three primaries – Greenwood, Montgomery and Percy Shurmer.
AET has just announced that it is going to privatise all its non-teaching staff in a massive 10-year contract worth up to £400 million.
According to the TES:
England’s biggest academy chain to bring in private sector to run schools
The country’s largest academy chain, Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), is considering outsourcing most non-teaching roles to private companies in a deal worth up to £400 million.
The 10 year contract would include school business managers, librarians and IT staff as well as a range of back office positions such as HR, finance, and secretaries.
Headteachers, teachers and teaching assistants would be the only roles not affected by the move.
Unison, a union that represents 240,000 school support staff, has issued an angry warning about the move, claiming it is an “unprecedented privatisation of school services”.
The contract was advertised on the European Union’s online tender service and the deal will be worth between £200 and £400 million.
TES 31 January 2014
And the Guardian asks:
If academies save money on wages, whose gain will it be?
An academy trust promises efficiency savings: how much of the money will line executives’ pockets?
Guardian 18 February 2014
Most of these school staff will be in the GMB or Unison. But it is vital that all the school unions stand together to oppose this job-cutting pay-cutting privatisation. A lethal precedent is being set: if they can do it to non-teaching staff they will do it to teaching staff next.
AET of course have a reputation as a a dodgy outfit even by academy chain standards – gaming the exam results while paying themselves huge salaries. Here is their record of failure:
Detailed examination of the 2013 GCSE results released last week by the Department for Education show that academy chains – bodies that manage as many as 70 academy and free schools – had a higher than average reliance on equivalent qualifications to standard GCSEs, such as BTecs.
The figures show that the Academies Enterprise Trust had a 52% pass rate including equivalents, but just 36.5% with equivalents taken out.
Guardian 29 January 2014
Academy Enterprise Trust paid almost £500,000 over three years to private businesses owned by its trustees and executives
Observer 20 July 2013
Academies Enterprise Trust (AET have been ‘barred’ by the Government from taking over any more schools. It was revealed that the academy sponsor have been instructed by the Department for Education (DfE) to concentrate on raising results in their existing 66 schools.
The report states that 18 of its schools are failing with 30 in need of improvement and only two rated as outstanding.
Local Schools Network 21 April 2013