The head teacher of a school run by an academies chain which is to fold has insisted the move “is not a disaster”, despite union members saying the school is in a “shambolic state”.

Andy Mortimer, interim principal of Bexhill High, said the winding up of the Prospects Academies Trust (PAT) will not impact on students.

It was revealed at the end of last week that the trust, which had previously been told by the Department for Education (DfE) that it could not take on any more schools, was to be wound up. It is believed to be the first time an academy chain has folded.

GMB, the union for school support staff, has called for East Sussex County Council to take control of the school, but Mr Mortimer said the school was already looking for a new sponsor.

He said: “I really want to get the mes- sage across to everyone within Bexhill High and the wider community that this is not a disaster, indeed far from it.

“Of course the situation isn’t ideal, but I want to stress the Department for Education is already looking for a new sponsor.

“A new sponsor will come in and take over Bexhill High, just as PAT did.

“Until that happens, our students will notice no difference at all.”

But Rachel Verdin, GMB regional officer, claimed Bexhill High’s academy experiment had failed.

She said: “The school has been beset with problems since becoming an acad- emy and a knee-jerk reaction bidding process to try and find a new sponsor will just simply be adding to the list of problems.”

GMB are set to hold a public meeting in the next couple of weeks while a new sponsor is sought for the school.

PAT chairman Peter Evans said the trust had found it “very difficult over the past year to provide the required support and services to all our academies because of the geographical spread of the trust academies”.

A DfE spokesman said they were aware of PAT’s decision to withdraw as an academy sponsor.