“It is nothing short of a scandal that over £31 million of taxpayers’ money has been spent by the Department shuffling 935 academy schools between one academy trust and another over the last five years. This is a huge sum that could have been better invested in our schools across England which are making staff redundant and sending begging letters home to parents because they simply don’t have the funding they need.

“The pupils and families at these rebrokered academies have been badly let down by a Government that has sold them a lie about the academy programme – claiming it is the only and the best way to secure school improvement. Yet 67 academy schools were transferred due to sponsor closure and 57 transfers were due to intervention as a result of poor performance. In the remainder – 60% of transfers - the academy trust itself chose to walk away from these schools. That is what happens when we have a market place for education.

“All the evidence shows that schools that get into difficulty improve faster and in a more sustainable way if they are supported to do so by their local authority. Yet this Government clings to its failed orthodoxy in refusing to allow schools that have been failed by an academy trust to return to the oversight provided by their local authority.

“The academy programme is an expensive shambles of a school policy. It is on its last legs and the Government should put it out of its misery once and for all.”