TWO troubled secondary schools will be taken over by new academy trusts.

The Philip Morant School, Colchester, and The Colne Community School and College, Brightlingsea, run by The Thrive Partnership Academy Trust are to enter a ‘re-brokering’ process.

The move has been voluntarily instigated by the board of four trustees who were brought in to help after the schools’ leaders Catherine Hutley and Nardeep Sharma were suspended.

Following reviews of both schools and feedback from concerned parents, the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Office, has invited a number of suitable Multi-Academy Trusts to express an interest in taking on the schools.

Neil Jones, Chair of Trustees for the Thrive Partnership Academy Trust, added: “The recent reviews gave us a much better appreciation of the challenges that both schools face.

“We have also been listening to the comments and concerns of our parents as well as being realistic about the challenges that the schools face.

“Taking everything into account, the board agreed that the best way forward is through inviting new, stronger trusts to take over the running of the schools.

“Our absolute priority is to make any transition as seamless as possible and to ensure minimum disruption to our pupils and staff.

“As such, we have decided to move quickly to enable the re-brokering process to be concluded over the summer so that both schools are part of new supportive trusts as soon as possible.”

Mrs Jones said the trust was “very mindful” of the potential impact on staff and it will be keeping them fully informed of the process.

He added there will be “full and proper consultation at the appropriate time.”

Re-brokerage is the term the Department for Education uses where one academy trust is asked by the Regional Schools Commissioner to transfer one, some or all of its academies to another academy trust.

Typically the underlying reason for the re-brokerage will be as a result of concerns about performance at one or more of the trust’s academies.

Colchester MP Will Quince said: “Questions will rightly be asked about what went wrong with the Thrive Partnership Trust and this must be looked into.

"However, my priority has been and remains the education of the pupils at Philip Morant and that the school works with parents to rebuild trust and the school’s reputation locally.

"I welcome this news which represents an important step on this journey.”

Last week a two-year-old policy to ban homework at Philip Morant was abolished following parents’ concerns.