The operators of an outstanding-rated academy that helps educate ill children say it may be forced to close schools after its contract was terminated.

CHES Academy, which operates at three sites in Truro and Bodmin, provides education and care to children and young people from across Cornwall who are too ill to attend mainstream schools.

The Academy, led by Wave Multi Academy Trust, has delivered this work under a contract from Cornwall Council since 2007 and has been consistently rated Outstanding by Ofsted – but its future is in doubt after the council awarded the contract for September 2022 onwards to a new provider.

Wave has lodged a legal challenge at the High Court in a bid to overturn it.

Helen Casson, the Executive Principal of CHES, said: “We are deeply saddened by the council decision. We are driven to ensure the very best for the pupils and continuously strive for excellence, something which is regularly recognised by all our stakeholders.

“The excellence, experience and expertise that the team at CHES has in delivering this highly skilled work for 14 years has not been recognised through this tender process.”

She added that Glynn House in Truro, one of CHES’ three sites, would close if the legal challenge was not successful.

Ms Casson said: “Glynn House is a hugely important part of the provision as it’s crucial to the pupils’ reintegration back into mainstream education.”

“We deliver a broad academic and enrichment curriculum to small groups and through this the children gain confidence and socialise with others. It’s a stepping-stone for children to successfully transition back to mainstream school or post-16 education, and it works brilliantly. Last year, more than 50 pupils reintegrated into mainstream, which is exceptional.”

Lucy Stocker, CHES’ Head of School, said: “I am incredibly proud of our service and the support that we provide for our pupils and their families and the difference we are able to make. I am concerned about the impact this change will have on our pupils and families during one of the most difficult times in their lives.”


Decision on application to demolish last remaining sea front house in Falmouth

The contract was awarded to the Special Partnership Trust. 

In a statement Guy Chappell, director of Special Partnership Trust said: "Our focus at The Special Partnership Trust is on quality and improving learning opportunities for all pupils as well as a strong focus on partnership working.

"We submitted a tender to Cornwall Council for the provision of alternative education for children unable to attend school due to medical or health needs, because we feel we have the knowledge to deliver this crucial service at the highest level.

"The tender is currently in its 'standstill period'. As such, it is not appropriate for us to comment further at this stage."

Cornwall Council have been asked for a response.