To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what measures are in place to support academies in the event that their sponsors become bankrupt; and if he will make a statement.
If a sponsor wishes to withdraw involvement, for whatever reason, once an academy has been opened then the academy trust and DCSF would agree the best way forward. The prime consideration would be the needs of the pupils at the academy.
Academy financial sponsorship is of two types. More recent academies have sponsorship in the form of contribution to endowment funds. The income from these funds is intended to be used to enhance students' opportunities and widen the academy's role in its community, but does not contribute to the recurrent costs of providing education. Therefore any shortfall in sponsorship contributions, whilst regrettable, does not produce any need for additional support of the academy concerned.
Earlier academies have sponsorship in the form of contributions towards the capital cost, and in some cases contributions are complete. Where they are not, and a sponsor has difficulty completing payments on time, we will consider on a case-by-case basis what action to take.