The Department for Education in Whitehall did not have confidence the Diocese of Bristol Academy Trust could turn around the Deanery Academy in Wichelstowe following an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating.

The government department's decision to take the Deanery Academy out of the control of the trust sparked the trust’s announcement it would stop running all its schools – 12 in Swindon and five in Wiltshire as well as others in Bristol.

A spokesman for the DfE said: “With any inadequate academy, we need to be satisfied that the trust has the capacity to deliver rapid and sustainable improvements, otherwise we will take action to secure improvements by transferring the academy to another trust, as is the case with the Deanery CE Academy.

“There are many trusts with a small number of primary schools working very well together across the country to deliver high-quality education in a way that is financially sound.”

After the Ofsted rating the DFE issued the school with a termination warning notice, saying the school could be moved from the control of the trust into another.

The Deanery TWN was triggered following the Ofsted inspection in September last year in which it was rated inadequate.

The DFE added: “The department is working with the school and the Trust in the next steps of this process which will be confirmed in due course.”

Once a TWN is issued, the DfE added: “Schools have the opportunity to provide evidence to show that they improved since receiving feedback from Ofsted. If they have not improved, the Regional Director has the power to intervene and transfer the school into a high-quality multi-academy trust.”

The Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust runs The Deanery CofE Academy, Kingfisher CE Academy, Lydiard Millicent CE Academy, St Leonard’s CE Academy, South Marston Cof E School, Tadpole Farm CE Primary School and Ridgeway Farm CE Academy in Swindon, serving a combined total of about 2,000 pupils. 

It also runs Christian Malford CofE Primary School, St Peter’s CofE Academy, Sutton Benger CofE Primary School and Seagry CE Primary School in Chippenham and Somerford’s Walter Powell CofE Primary School in Great Somerford near Malmesbury as well as schools in Bristol itself. 

The trust was given permission in December to build a primary school for 420 pupils aged four to 11 as well as a 72-place nursery at the Redlands New Eastern Village expansion to Swindon east of the A419 north of Wanborough. That school will also be found a new managing trust.