Parents of children at three local primary schools have been assured they will see no disruption to their children’s education after an academy chain announced it would be pulling out of running them, days into the new school year.

Wakefield City Academies Trust made the shock announcement today that it would be finding new sponsors for its 21 schools, including Thornbury Academy, Barkerend Academy and High Crags Academy in Shipley.

The Trust has said that it “did not have the capacity” to make the improvements to the schools that their students deserved.

Bradford Council has said it is working with the government to urgently find new sponsors for the schools.

Last year it was announced the trust would be taking over two local secondary schools, Hanson School and University Academy Keighley. But in December they unexpectedly pulled out with little explanation why.

A statement from the Trust announcing the shock withdrawal from schools across Yorkshire said: “As a new board appointed in July 2016 to address the significant challenges faced by WCAT, we have been engaged in a robust period of review and evaluation of all aspects of the organisation, in particular the quality of education provision.

“Having undertaken this comprehensive review our conclusion is that the Trust does not have the capacity to facilitate the rapid improvement our academies need and our students deserve.

“Consequently, the Board has requested that the Department for Education work with it to place our academies with new sponsors. Together with the DfE we will ensure that our academies get the support they need now, and as part of new trusts, to secure the educational experience of children in the schools.

“The Board recognises this announcement will cause uncertainty, particularly for our staff. It will work with them to ensure the transition to new sponsors is as seamless as possible.

“Our students’ best interests, as ever, remain our focus and they and parents should be reassured that this decision will have a positive impact on education provision.”

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “We are working closely with the Department for Education and the Government’s Regional Schools Commissioner to ensure that strong academy sponsors can be found for the three schools which were sponsored by WCAT in our district.

“We want to reassure parents at Barkerend, High Crags and Thornbury Academies that WCAT’s decision will not cause any disruption to pupils’ education and the schools will continue to operate as normal.”