31 Oct Converting to an Academy
One of our specialisms at Egan Roberts is acting for academies, but have you ever wondered how it all starts?
There are two types of academy; single academies and multi-academy trusts.
Firstly, to convert to a single academy the school’s latest Ofsted rating must be at least good, student’s attainment and progress must be high and finances must be healthy.
Alternatively, to convert to a multi-academy trust you can join an existing trust or set up a new one. All academies in the trust share staff and expertise and make savings on expenses.
However, before the school can apply to convert, the governing body must pass a resolution to convert. If applying to join an existing trust, the trust must confirm they are happy to accept your school.
The following steps must be completed to convert a local-authority-maintained school to an academy.
1. Prepare for your school’s application before you apply. It is recommended that you submit a registration of interest form and read the ‘Academies financial handbook’.
2. Complete the application form and notify your local authority
3. Set up or join an academy trust
4. Transfer responsibilities to the academy trust
5. Prepare to open as an academy including appointing officers and auditors, insurance and complaints procedures
6. In the first few months of being open as an academy, publish the final funding agreement on the academy’s website, submit the relevant financial returns, complete the land and buildings valuation within 6 weeks of converting and seek advice from peer-to-peer networks
Peer-to-peer networks include:
• Freedom and Autonomy for Schools – National Association
• The Schools Network
• Institute of School Business Leadership