Questions about Academy Trusts
What is an Academy?
Academies receive funding directly from the government and are run by an academy trust. Academy trusts are not-for-profit companies. They employ the staff and have trustees who are responsible for the performance of the academies in the trust. https://www.gov.uk/types-of-school/academies
What is a Multi-Academy Trust?
A Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) is an Academy Trust running two or more academies.
Can my school continue as a Voluntary Aided or Voluntary Controlled school in the future?
The White Paper says, ‘by 2030 all schools will be in a strong multi-academy trust or with plans to join or form one’. Therefore, schools will not be allowed to continue as a Voluntary Aided or Voluntary Controlled school.
Can my school continue as a Single Academy Trust in the future?
The White Paper says, ‘most trusts will be on a trajectory to either serve a minimum of 7,500 pupils or run at least 10 schools.’
Why does the LDBS say that between two and seven trusts are likely to be needed?
7 trusts would be needed for all the Church schools if each trust served 7,500 pupils. Fewer Trusts would be needed if each trust served more than 7,500 pupils. It would be beneficial to have more than one Church MAT in the diocese so that ultimately schools have the option to change Trust.
Are there any restrictions on the kind of Trust that my school can join?
Yes. The LDBS will only give permission for Church schools in the London Diocese to join a Church school MAT.
What do you mean by a Church school MAT?
Academy Trusts have a Memorandum and Articles of Association which set out the way the Trust operates. A Church school MAT is one in which the Church of England is in the majority and which has adopted ‘majority’ Church Articles. We are expecting the DfE to issue updated model Articles. The current articles are here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/church-academies-model-documents.
Can a school that is not a Church school, e.g., a community school, join a Church MAT?
Yes, subject to the overall balance of schools within the Trust and where it is in the best interests of all the children served by the Trust. Neither the Membership and Articles of the Trust (as a majority Church MAT), nor the non-denominational status of the community school, would change.
Who makes the decision to become an academy or change trust?
Permission is needed from both the school governors (or trustees, for an academy) and the LDBS for a school to become an academy or move from one trust to another. The Regional Director (the new name for the Regional Schools Commissioner) will also want to see that proper due diligence has been undertaken. We hope that all decisions can be made collaboratively and ask schools to consult with the LDBS before consulting with any other parties.