There are fears the collapse of a Yorkshire academy trust could cost schools in the region more than a million pounds.
It was announced last month that Wakefield City Academies Trust would be pulling out of all 21 schools it runs - affecting more than 8000 pupils at schools in towns and cities including Doncaster, Sheffield, Shipley and Goole.
Nine of the 21 schools have been rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted, and only four are deemed to be 'good' or better.
In an interview with ITV Calendar, Education Secretary Justine Greening did not guarantee that money the Trust is said to have removed from school budgets will be returned, amid allegations that it has taken more than £800,000 from one school alone.
Wakefield City Academy lent the money to its parent Trust, but governors say they have now been told not to expect it back.
Justine Greening promised future 'investment' in the schools, as they transfer to new academy sponsors.
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Meanwhile an internal report seen by ITV Calendar shows the scale of the problems at the Trust in the months before its collapse.
The document, dated June 2017, was written by interim CEO Chris Pickering, who was appointed in May to deliver a 'renewed focus on teaching and learning'.
He says the amount of money the Trust is taking from its schools is 'totally unacceptable' and 'placing severe pressure on academy budgets'. The report describes Wakefield City Academies Trust as an organisation with ‘inadequate leadership’, run on the basis of 'fear'.
Justine Greening said the Government had stepped in 'quickly' to 'improve the quality of education' at the schools. But the report notes that the 'realignment' of the Trust has had to be put on hold 'due to the lead up to the General Election', and further documents seen by ITV Calendar suggest the Government knew as early as October/November 2016 that the Trust was failing - leading to questions as to why it didn't step in sooner.
The internal report also says the academy has 'grown at a faster rate than it has been able to develop capacity to facilitate improvements.' This raises further questions about why the Government allowed the Trust to expand at such a rate over the course of four years.
Labour MPs have now stepped up their calls for the Government to open up about what it was doing in the run-up to the collapse.
The Government is still pursuing the expansion of multi-academy trusts - but new guidance was issued in December 2016, six months after Justine Greening took up her position. She admitted to ITV Calendar that had Government regulations been tighter, the Trust may not have been allowed to grow as it did.
Wakefield City Academies Trust said they will be making no further statement on any of the issues raised.