Catch22 takes over subsidiary of CfBT Education Trust

The young people's charity says it has purchased five independent schools run by CfBT subsidiary Include and will retain all its staff


The young people’s charity Catch22 has taken over Include, a subsidiary charity of the CfBT Education Trust.

Include has a turnover of £4m a year and educates about 700 vulnerable young people through five specialist independent schools in Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Buckinghamshire and Bristol.

Catch22 said it has purchased the five schools for an undisclosed sum. It said Include would continue to operate all the same functions following the takeover and Catch22 would continue to employ all 127 of Include’s staff.

The young people's charity said it would not make significant changes to existing schools, but hoped to expand Include’s operation.

"Catch22 and CfBT Include share the same market, aims and ethos," a spokeswoman for Catch22 said. "Above all, Catch22 respects Include’s 15 years’ experience delivering high-quality education provision, and wants to capitalise on that success, using the existing model to expand the charity’s reach."

Catch22 was recently approved as an academy sponsor by the Department for Education and plans to expand the number of schools it runs. It already operates the Pupil Parent Partnership, an alternative provision school in London working with excluded young people, and carries out work in more than 300 other schools.

Steve Munby, chief executive of CfBT, said that the decision to sell the schools was part of a strategic review of CfBT’s portfolio and was "based on a decision to focus on four key areas".

"Alternative education provision of the type that CfBT Include provides was not one of these but was a valuable service that we felt needed to continue," he said.

Catch22 would not say what it paid for the schools, only that it had been "fair value".

Tracy Pepper, director of education at Catch22, said the move would "create a new, dynamic force in alternative education provision" and allow her organisation to reach more young people and disadvantaged families.

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