The Oasis Learning Trust have dropped their bid to take over Winterbourne International Academy. The re-brokering process will continue without them but with only one MAT bidding for WIA.

Official statement

Oasis’ official statement reads:

As a systems leader, Oasis Community Learning was approached by the Department for Education to explore the possibility of becoming the potential new sponsor of Winterbourne International Academy. 

Following an extensive due diligence process and after careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with our application to sponsor the Academy.

We would like to thank the staff for their engagement during the due diligence process, and it was a pleasure to meet such bright and talented students. We wish the entire Academy community all the very best for the future.

As a national, regional, and local schools’ provider, Oasis looks forward to the prospect of working in collaboration with whoever becomes the new sponsor of Winterbourne International Academy in the South West Region.

There has, as yet, been no reaction from The Ridings Federation Trust or from the Regional Schools Commissioner.

The real reason

Oasis was never a good fit for WIA or YIA. As they say in their statement, Oasis were approached by the Department For Education but this was clearly without regard for their suitability.

It was up to parents, teachers and students to demonstrate that they weren’t welcome here for a multitude of reasons. It was through the engagement, energy and determination of the whole community that this result was achieved.

We’ve shown that it is possible to influence processes in the academy system. However there has been no improvement in transparency and accountability. We have affected one of the bidder MATs but not changed the poor process by which they arrived.

What’s next

Whilst Oasis have dropped out the process itself will continue.

We understand that the remaining two MATs will still present to the trust next week and a final decision in principle will be taken by an RSC by early January. It is not guaranteed that the bids from Greenshaw and Olympus/CSET will succeed.

This is great news but it’s not the end of the process.