Transfer of Mark Hall Academy to BMAT Education

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Posted on: Nov 11th 2020

Mark Hall Academy in Harlow will be joining BMAT Education to oversee and steer the next phase of its development.  The academy will be joining BMAT in early in 2021.

Following Mark Hall’s most recent Ofsted inspection in June 2020, the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC), who oversees academies in the area on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to the existing trust, Academy Transformation Trust (ATT), in the summer to say she was considering asking another academy trust to take over as sponsor of Mark Hall Academy. 

BMAT was selected by the Regional Schools Commissioner as the best-placed sponsor to continue the improvement process at Mark Hall Academy over the coming period.

Following engagement with the Boards of Trustees at both ATT and BMAT, the RSC’s Head Teacher Board supported the proposed transfer at its meeting on 22 October 2020.

Debbie Clinton, CEO of ATT, said:

“Mark Hall Academy is on an improving trend, and we are naturally disappointed that we will not be able to maintain our leadership of the academy. The recent Ofsted inspection report confirmed that there were many positive elements to build on. Inspectors noted the ‘signs of improvement… as a result of actions taken by the trust and senior school leaders’, and we are confident that the new leadership of the academy, supported by our experienced team, including the Principal Manjit Hazle, the Executive Principal and local governors, would have secured rapid – and sustainable – improvements. In the context of these improvements, although the decision of the RSC is not one we support, we are pleased in her selection of BMAT as the new sponsor trust. 

“However, we accept the RSC’s decision and we will give BMAT every support in ensuring both a smooth transfer to it and in maintaining the current improvements. BMAT is an excellent trust and has a track record of improving schools. We will work collaboratively with BMAT and assure the pupils, parents, carers and members of the local Harlow community that our priority remains the provision of the best possible education at Mark Hall Academy and that we are committed to delivering that right up until the point of transfer.”

Helena Mills, CEO of BMAT, said:

“We are excited and delighted to be welcoming Mark Hall Academy into our trust, and look forward to getting to know the students and staff, governors and parents. It’s clear that Manjit Hazle has already made a number of very positive improvements as the new Principal, and we are keen for that work to continue. We are delighted that she will be continuing with us to lead Mark Hall and we will be working closely with her to accelerate the pace of change so that the academy delivers the high-quality education that local families deserve.  Mark Hall will benefit from the strengths and capacity that being part of our local family of secondary academies will bring.

“We will be working alongside the ATT team over the coming months to ensure there is a smooth and orderly transfer and, most importantly, that students’ education is not disrupted in any way. We’re excited about the future ahead for Mark Hall and have every confidence the academy will go from strength to strength.” 

Manjit Hazle, Principal of Mark Hall Academy, said:

“Improvement at Mark Hall Academy has already commenced with ATT and will now be maintained under a strong local sponsor. I am delighted to be staying on and look forward to working as part of the BMAT team. We will work together to share expertise and resources and create a high-performing school as part of a high-performing trust centred on Harlow.”

Rt. Hon. Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Commons Education Select Committee, said:

“I am delighted to hear that BMAT will be taking over the sponsorship of Mark Hall Academy, this is very exciting news. Despite the efforts of many teachers and support staff, Mark Hall Academy has faced significant difficulties. I had meetings with the Regional Schools Commissioner and urged that a new Trust be appointed to run the School, and BMAT is second to none. BMAT has transformed the education prospects of thousands of students across Harlow and ensures they climb high on the education ladder of opportunity. I have no doubt that BMAT will do the same with Mark Hall.”

Both trusts intend to hold a stakeholder information meeting on Thursday 19 November at 4.30pm. Details of how to join the meeting can be found at and

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