To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their total estimated value of sponsorship for new academy schools between 7 May and 31 August.
On Monday 7 September 2015 my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Education and I attended the Academy Ambassadors ‘businesses in schools’ event, at which the Secretary of State urged business leaders to set up more academy trusts. I set up Academy Ambassadors (AA) to recruit sponsors and high-calibre business leaders to join academy trust boards as non-executive directors. This latter activity is to help multi-academy trusts grow in a sustainable way, offer specific support such as Chair of Audit or Finance, or simply serve as strong, independent board members. AA work closely with academy trusts to recruit non-executive directors and trustees with the specific skill-set the trust requires, from their local community. Its most successful approaches have been through business breakfasts, partnerships with large employers, and working with network organisations (such as Women in Banking and Finance). AA has placed over 80 business leaders onto academy trusts and has a current ‘talent pool’ of over 150 business people.
In addition, the Department for Education’s Regional Schools Commissioners undertake a wide range of activities to encourage sponsorship involving schools, businesses and other bodies, including colleges and universities, in their regions.
The value of sponsorship is largely unquantifiable in purely monetary terms.
Since May, no new schools have opened where the sponsor had ‘applied’ since May, however, we regularly receive applications from organisations wishing to be academy sponsors.