My school wants to convert to an academy, where can I find out more?
The DfE website has the most up-to-date information available on the 'Becoming an academy'
What is the role of the academy trust?
An academy trust is a charitable company responsible for the running of the academy and has control
over the land and other assets. It has a strategic role in running the academy, but delegates day-to-
day management of the school to the governors.
Does my school have to hold a consultation with staff?
The current employer of school staff (either the local authority or governing body depending on the
type of school) will need to conduct a TUPE consultation with all staff (teaching and non teaching) and
the unions as part of the staff transfer process.
Does my school need agreement from the local authority?
Your school will be free to discuss its plans with any local partners, including the local authority;
however, the Academies Act 2010 has removed the need for the LA to approve your plans. All that
will be required is a resolution passed by the governing body. Once the Secretary of State has
confirmed that your school will become an academy, subject to the successful passage of the
Academies Bill, he will direct the local authority to cease to maintain it.
Will an academy be under constraints or new expectations that the local authority would
previously have exercised?
Academies have freedom from local authority control, which means that they have autonomy over the
decisions they make and the education they deliver to their pupils. They also have the freedom to
change the length of terms and school days, set their own pay and conditions for staff, and freedoms
around the delivery of the curriculum. There is a range of services that were previously provided by
the local authority that academies will now need to provide. A list of these can be found in the
'Academies funding' section of this website.
Will all academies be covered by the FOI Act?
Academies are now covered through the Academies Act 2010 under the Freedom of Information
(FOI) Act (2000). It applied to schools that converted from September 2010 and has applied to the
203 existing academies since January 2011.
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
If a school that is applying contains a key part of a local SEN provision, will it be expected to
continue to provide that service if it becomes an academy?
It is our expectation that existing educational provision in the school will transfer to the academy. The
local authority will need to agree the transfer of land and assets (if applicable, for example in the case
of separate SEN Units) with the school and to carry out TUPE negotiations. The LA will therefore be
part of the conversion process and will have the ability to influence the outcome of that process.
Can a child with a statement nominate an academy as their school of choice?
Yes. Outstanding or good with outstanding features schools converting to become academies will be
able to retain the admissions criteria they currently use. These arrangements and related processes
should at all times comply with the Schools Admissions Code.
Does becoming an academy change the way in which exclusions are dealt with?
Academies are required by their funding agreement to follow the law and guidance on exclusions as if
they were maintained schools. This includes reporting exclusions to the LA. However, academies do
not have to consult the LA before deciding to exclude a pupil and they can arrange their own
independent appeals panel.
How will the role of governors change if we became an academy?
The principles of governance are the same in academies as it is in maintained schools but the
governing body has greater autonomy.
The responsibilities will be similar to those in most maintained schools. The governing body can
continue to delegate functions to committees, the principal or any other holder of an executive office.
What will the responsibilities of the governing body be?
The governing body will be responsible for establishing the academy trust. The academy trust (a
charitable company limited by guarantee) will then enter into a funding agreement with the Secretary
of State for the running of the academy. The academy trust (made up of members) has a strategic
role in running the academy and will be responsible for appointing the governors (also known as
directors or trustees) to the governing body of the academy. It is the governing body that manages the
academy on behalf of the members of the academy trust. The key responsibilities are to
ensure the quality of educational provision
challenge and monitor the performance of the academy
manage the academy trust‟s finances and property
It will be for the members of the governing body of the school to decide and agree, in discussion with
the Secretary of State, who among them would wish to be members of the academy trust and which
of them would wish to be governors of the academy trust (note that it is possible to be both a member
What are the rules around appointing the governing body?
The governing body will be appointed by the academy trust. The process for governor elections is set
out in the articles of association and agreed between the academy trust and the Secretary of State.
There will be no maximum size for the governing body. However, when negotiating the size of a
governing body we do advise that large numbers can make governing bodies unwieldy and difficult to
Membership of the governing body should include at least two parent governors and the principal, but
academies are free to choose whether to have for example a local authority governor, staff governor
or co-opted governor. If there is a sponsor then we would expect the majority of governors to be
appointed by the sponsor, and for predecessor voluntary and foundation schools converting to
academy status, the foundation or trust may appoint the majority of governors.
If a school currently has 11 foundation governors, these could remain (if the new academy trust
wanted them to remain). The remaining governors would be made up from at least two parents, one
LA governor (optional) and co-opted governors.
How will this affect the governing body structures?
The flexibility of the academy governance model allows, in most cases, converting schools to
replicate their existing governing body if they wish to do so. There are some minimum requirements.
These are that an academy must have at least two parent governors, no more than a third of
governors can be academy staff, and there can be no more than one LA governor. Other than these
core requirements, the flexible model allows the academy trust to appoint a governing body that is
appropriate for their school.
What is the role of the academy trust?
An academy trust is a charitable company responsible for the running of the academy and has control
over the land and other assets. It has a strategic role in running the academy, but delegates
management of the school to the governors.
What are the rules around membership of an academy trust, including numbers, make-up, and
The existing governing body, foundation body or trust will form the academy trust, which will then
appoint the governing body. Although there is no limit, we would expect the academy trust to
comprise at least three people – one person appointed by the Secretary of State (should he choose to
appoint), the Chair of the governing body and any additional members appointed by the members, if
unanimously agreed by the members of the trust.
What are the governing body’s and the sponsor’s respective roles in an academy?
Outstanding and good with outstanding features schools converting to academy status will not have
an external sponsor. The current governing body will therefore establish an academy trust, which is
responsible for the strategic running of the academy and has control over the land and other assets.
The management of the academy is delegated to the governing body.
Academies used to have outside organisations sponsoring them – is that still the case?
Not where an outstanding or good with outstanding features schools is converting to academy status.
A school‟s governing body can establish the academy trust. However, it will be free to work with any
Do these new academies still have to set up an endowment trust and seek contributions from
There is no requirement for outstanding or good with outstanding features schools converting to
academy status to have an external sponsor, and no contributions are expected. It does have to have
an academy trust, but the governors can set this up themselves. There is no barrier to such a school
working with a sponsor if it wishes, but there is no requirement to do so.
Will becoming an academy increase burdens on volunteer school governors as they take on
functions previously discharged by the local authority? Will this make it harder to find school
There are many similarities between the governing bodies of maintained schools and academies. We
believe that volunteer school governors will still be able to fulfil their role in academies and that this
will not make it harder to find governors. We would also expect academies, as with all schools, to
provide the necessary training and support to governors to ensure they are able to fulfil their duties.
Will the Academies Act 2010 mean that in the future there will be a range of academies, each
with a different legal basis?
All academies will have the same legal basis (clause 1 of the Academies Act 2010), irrespective of
whether they‟re sponsor-free academies, academies with a grant rather than a funding agreement,
grammar school academies, SEN academies, or primary academies.
How much additional responsibility and liability is involved for the governing body and how is
The academy trust (a charitable company limited by guarantee) is the legal entity that will be
responsible for the running of the school and entering into contracts. The academy trust will be able to
take out employers‟ liability insurance (like any other employer of staff). Liabilities to external parties
would ordinarily be those of the academy trust (a company with a separate legal entity and not the
governors themselves). Under the articles of association, the academy trust is required to provide
indemnity insurance to cover the liability of its governors. The members of the academy trust will be
liable to contribute up to £10 if the academy trust is wound up. As the academy trust is a charitable
company, the governors are also directors and charitable trustees, and will therefore need to comply
with obligations under company and charity law.
Are governors personally liable if the academy fails?
Personal liability will not arise if governors carry out their duty acting in good faith.
Academies are required to have governor liability insurance with minimum cover of £10 million which
insures against collective liability of the governing body acting in good faith.
Are there plans to expand on the role of academy governors (compared to that of other school
There are no plans at present to make changes to the role of academy governors.
FUNDING LAND AND PREMISES
Will academies be forced to buy in expensive services?
No. Academies are not forced to buy in any type of service by particular providers. The experience of
academies to date is that they can buy in services more effectively for themselves which leads either
to better quality or lower prices meaning they can make savings and re-invest money elsewhere.
They are free to buy back the services from the LA or find them elsewhere.
All academies are required to take out insurance and the Department has arrangements in place to
help academies secure best value for money which are explained in the guidance note available on
the Department‟s website.
Will we have to raise our own capital funding as an academy?
No. All schools, including academies, will be able to apply for Government capital funding.
What happens if there is a capital emergency at the academy? Would it have to cover costs?
Academies are eligible to seek an earmarked annual grant from the Young People‟s Learning Agency
(YPLA) for emergencies, in the same way the LA can pay a maintained school a contingency
Academies are required to take out insurance at specified minimum levels of cover to protect against
potential capital emergencies. The Department would expect schools to use their existing budgets to
cover the cost of this.
Will academies have to take on local government pension schemes' liabilities?
If a pension fund is managing a deficit then this transfers from the LA to the academy. However, the
Charity Commission has advised that this liability does not mean the academy is trading while
insolvent, because the deficit is being reduced by the contribution made.
We are currently reviewing these arrangements with the Department for Communities and Local
Government and will update the website if and when any changes are planned.
What support is available to academies if they get into financial difficulty?
Academies, like all schools, are expected to maintain strict budgetary controls and are required by
their funding agreement to balance their budgets.
The academy receives ongoing Grant („General Annual Grant‟) which covers the running costs of the
school. The YPLA monitors academies‟ financial position on behalf of the Secretary of State, and if a
deficit occurs or appears likely, will intervene. It will provide advice and support to the academy to find
an appropriate solution to bring costs and income back into balance, usually in the form of a
restructuring plan, and will give additional contingency funding if absolutely necessary.
How will ownership of the land work if we become an academy?
In most cases academies will lease the public land from the freeholder on a long lease (125 years).
Where private land is concerned, it will be for the land owner and the academy trust to reach
agreement on the academy‟s continued use of the land. This could be via an informal agreement or
via a lease arrangement similar to that described above.
We expect most schools should convert very much “as is” with as little disturbance to existing
arrangements as possible. Therefore, where it is considered preferable for existing foundations (such
as those at many voluntary-aided schools) holding land to continue to do so, we are in favour of this
arrangement provided there are no legal restrictions.
A model funding agreement and lease document can be viewed on the 'Academies' section of this
website. We are also are working with the Catholic Education Service for England and Wales and the
Church of England to develop model academies documentation (e.g. funding agreements and model
leases) which addresses the specific land issues around schools with a religious character.
How is academy funding calculated?
The General Annual Grant (GAG) funding will be based on the level of LA funding already calculated
for the school. Grant payments to academies to replace LA services depend on the level of central
spend in the LA, and can vary considerably from area to area.
The Department‟s website has an „Academies funding‟ page explaining this in more detail, alongside
a list of central services that the academy may be expected to provide. It also includes a ready
reckoner which enables schools considering converting to calculate the level of funding they should
receive as an academy, and allows them to compare this with the funding they currently receive. This
will give schools an estimate of the amount of grant they will receive in respect of their additional
responsibilities as academies.
Will we get more money as an academy?
Academies receive the same level of per-pupil funding as they would receive from the LA as a
maintained school plus additions to cover the services that are no longer provided for them by the LA.
The Government is clear that becoming an academy should not bring about a financial advantage or
disadvantage to a school. However, academies have greater freedom on how they use their budgets,
alongside the other freedoms that they enjoy.
Will there be an insurance top-up grant? Approximately how much is this?
Insurance will be paid for as a reimbursement item, not as a formulaic grant. Costs vary widely
depending on a school‟s location, claims experience and type of building. A typical premium is
between £60,000 and £100,000.
Are there limits to running a deficit as an academy? Is there a legal limit to this?
Academies are not allowed to run a deficit without remedial action. Any that open with a transferred
deficit will need to have an agreed plan with YPLA to repay it from GAG instalments. Any which
develop a deficit after opening will have to agree a restructuring plan with the YPLA.
Who will schools hold discussions with concerning projected future pupil numbers?
The academy lead officer contact point in the YPLA.
Can a foundation school just keep its existing accounts and change the names of them, given
that they already run their finances autonomously?
No. The money in the existing delegated budget account belongs to the LA even if arrangements are
made to pay over any surplus. The academy trust must open a new account to receive YPLA funding.
Is the ‘general’ Local Authority Central Spending Equivalent Grant given for pupils in Years 7
to 11 or Years 7 to 13?
It is given for all pupils at an academy. There are separate rates for primary (up to Year 6) and
secondary (up to Year 13) pupils.
Can academies access LA centrally negotiated contracts, e.g. energy/ banking/ insurance?
If they wish to do so, academies are quite free to buy services and supplies in from the LA or regional
purchasing consortia, although some LAs may not feel able to offer insurance.
Schools need to produce accounts that comply with the Companies Act. How are these
different from current DfE returns via county, can you say a bit more about them?
The accounts are completely different from CFR returns and need to follow charities and company
law requirements. The accounts are normally for an accounting period ending at 31 August. They can
be completed by the school bursar but the school may need to buy in expertise if there is insufficient
experience of doing such accounts. The software requirements really depend on the volume of
transactions, and professional advice should be sought. Academies’ accounts have to be
audited by an external auditor appointed and paid for by the academy; this takes place in autumn
Will academies still be funded per pupil?
Yes. They'll still be funded on the same principles as before.
What kind of financial records would we expect academies to have?
There is a finance handbook which has references to the type of records existing academies are
required to keep. We expect a similar level of financial accountability would be required of new
We already have our own bank account, do we need to set up a new one?
Yes. The funds in the current bank account belong to the LA, even though there will be provision to
pay over the surplus. The academy trust needs to set up its own new bank account to receive YPLA
Given that September will be part-way through the financial year, and LAs have already
allocated budgets to schools and top-sliced the budgets for the full year – will schools
converting in September get any further resource for the remainder of the year (a pro rata top-
slice allocation from September)?
Local Authority Central Spend Equivalent Grant for AY2010/11 is based on FY2009-10 local authority
data, and academies will be paid grant at the same rate from conversion date, whatever point of the
academic year that takes place.
Will the Department provide any start-up funding?
There are no plans to provide start-up funding to the new academies.
How much extra funding would an academy expect to receive from money that would normally
go to the local authority?
The funding will be based on the level of local authority funding already calculated for the school, plus
additions for central services that would normally be provided by the LA. Grant payments to
academies to replace local authority services depend on the level of central spend in the LA, and can
vary considerably from area to area. Please see the ready reckoner which will give schools an
estimate on the funding they might receive.
Will my school get a VAT grant?
Until now, academies have received grant funding to meet the additional VAT they incur because they
cannot use the local authority's VAT reclaim facility and to meet their insurance costs.
From next year, and subject to the necessary legislation, academies‟ non-business VAT costs will be
reimbursed by Her Majesty‟s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) through a refund scheme similar to the
scheme that applies to LA-maintained schools.
Where can I respond to the consultation on the VAT refund scheme?
A consultation on the draft legislation - which will form part of the 2011 Finance Bill before it is
introduced in Parliament - was announced by Her Majesty‟s Treasury on 9 December 2010. Further
information, including how to take part in the consultation, is available on the HM Treasury website.
Will schools be worse off financially if they convert to academies?
There are currently more than 300 open academies and the Department is not aware of cases where
a school has been worse off financially after converting to an academy. The general principle is that
schools are no worse off as academies than they would have been as maintained schools.
Academies are funded on a like-for-like basis with LA-maintained schools, with the addition of funding
for services that the LA would normally provide.
If there is a shortfall in teachers’ pensions in the future, who will provide the money to plug
The Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) is not insurance based, it‟s a statutory defined benefit scheme,
which is unfunded. Scheme benefits, including index linking under the Pensions (Increase) Acts, are
paid out of monies provided by Parliament and contributions and other income are credited to the
The Scheme Actuary undertakes a formal review not less than every four years to set the contribution
rate (currently 20.5 per cent). The contribution is shared between employers and scheme members.
The TPS is a group scheme and every TPS employer pays the same share of the contribution (14.1
per cent) - and every scheme member pays the same contribution (6.4 per cent). When a school
ceases to be maintained by the local authority and becomes an academy there is no 'transfer of
accrued liability'. However, there is a change of responsibility whereby the academy becomes
responsible for all matters relating to the TPS, including payment of the employer contribution which
must be remitted, with the employee contribution, to the TPS. While the school was maintained by the
local authority, the local authority would be responsible for such matters
hat funding will be available to help schools become academies and how can schools claim
We recognise that schools may incur costs such as obtaining legal advice on the documents
necessary for setting up the academy, advice on the process for transferring staff, and new signage
and stationery. As a contribution to these costs a flat-rate grant, normally £25,000, will be payable to
the school's bank account.
When DfE receives notification of a school's intention to convert, a claim form will be provided to
enable a claim - supported by a brief case for the claim - to be made.
Why aren't you funding the whole cost of the conversion process?
We believe that it is fair that schools which intend to acquire academy status should devote some of
their own resources to the process. This gives them an incentive to keep costs to the necessary
minimum over and above the DfE support and also minimises the impact on the education budget for
What happens if the school does not spend the whole £25,000? Does the unspent balance
have to be returned?
No. The balance can be spent by the academy as part of its overall income, once open.
Can the school make a later claim for additional support if it finds, well into the conversion
process, that costs are much higher than initially expected, for example if there are legal
Yes, although the school will be expected so far as possible to have absorbed the extra costs itself,
and any late claim will be assessed in the light of that.
What is the legal basis of the grant?
The grant will be paid by the Secretary of State under s.14 of the Education Act 2002.
How will becoming an academy affect our admissions arrangements?
In the same way as maintained schools, all academies are required to adopt clear and fair admission
arrangements in line with the admissions law and the School Admissions Code.
When a school converts to become an academy, it will be the admission authority and is responsible
for its own admission arrangements. This will mean little change for some schools such as foundation
and voluntary-aided schools which already are self-standing admission authorities. But for community
schools and voluntary controlled schools, the academy will need to manage its own admissions
process. It will involve periodic consultation and regularly publishing the academy's admission
Can new academies decide to bring in academic selection?
No, there will be no expansion of selection. Schools which already select some or all of their pupils
will be able to continue to do so when they become academies, but schools becoming academies
cannot decide to become newly selective schools.
If there are more academies, how do local parents have a fair choice of school?
LAs continue to have overall responsibility for ensuring that there are sufficient places to meet
demand locally and all academies are required to participate in the local coordination of admissions.
Applications for school places are made to the LA, who will notify the academy of the application.
Will our responsibilities in relation to SEN and exclusions change?
Your responsibilities as an academy in relation to SEN and exclusions will be just the same as they
are now as a maintained school.
We are a faith school. Will our religious ethos be lost if we become an academy?
No, the converting school must retain its existing designation. Where a school currently admits pupils,
or a portion of pupils based on faith, it will be able to retain those arrangements. For academies with a
Church of England or Catholic faith designation we expect the diocese will be represented on the
academy trust. For former voluntary-aided schools this means that the diocese will be able to appoint
the majority of members to the academy trust and the members in turn appoint the majority of
Does becoming an academy change the relationship with local schools and the community?
No, academy funding agreements state that they must ensure that the school will be at the heart of its
community, collaborating and sharing facilities and expertise with other schools and the wider
What are the admission requirements for schools converting to become academies?
Outstanding schools converting to become an academy will be able to retain the admission criteria
they currently use. These arrangements and related processes should at all times comply with the
School Admissions Code.
When a school becomes an academy, the academy trust will become the admission authority. For
some schools, such as foundation and voluntary aided schools, this will mean little change, but for
community schools and voluntary controlled schools the academy will need to manage its own
admissions process. This will involve periodic consultation, and regularly publishing the academy's
My school is a faith school - can we continue to give priority to children on the basis of
Any outstanding school which currently admits pupils, or a portion of pupils based on faith will be able
to retain those arrangements.
If a school reopens as an academy in September, what impact will that have on secondary
transfers/places already allocated?
All existing maintained schools and academies will have finalised their admission arrangements for
September 2010 by April 2009. Moreover, offers for entry in September 2010 will have been made on
1 March 2010. New academies will therefore be required to honour any offers for their predecessor
What happens to existing admissions appeals when we convert?
These will still need to be heard by an independent appeals panel. For community schools, we advise
that the local authority continues to arrange this process immediately after the school converts to
academy status to hear outstanding appeals whilst the academy trust is establishing its own
independent panel. Voluntary-aided and foundation schools will already be responsible for setting up
an independent appeals panel and so the situation remains the same on conversion.
Will existing all-ability academies be able to bring in academic selection?
No. The Bill will allow schools that already select all or some of their pupils on the basis of ability to
continue to do so. It does not provide for existing academies to become selective.
Would academies be part of coordinated admissions with the LA?
Yes, all academies continue to be within coordination i.e. the process for allocating school places to
children. This means that parents/carers only need to complete one application form (but they can
name several schools on it). Parents/carers will be given an offer of a single school place. Using
secondary coordination as an example, parents will apply to the LA on 31 October. The LA will send a
list of applicants to the schools by a date agreed in the locally agreed coordination scheme (this is
owned by the LA who agrees it with all its schools). The schools then rank the applicants against their
oversubscription criteria, and send a ranked list back to the LA. The LA then coordinates admissions
across its schools and with neighbouring authorities and offers parents their highest available
preference on 1 March.
Will academies have to be a part of the in-year coordinated admissions scheme? e.g. when the
LA needs to find places for families that have relocated to the area, etc.
Academy funding agreements require them to be within local coordination. That means that although
the school will apply its admission arrangements, the LA will send out offers. From 2010/2011 local
authorities will also coordinate admissions for in-year applications and from 2011/2012 for
applications for year groups other than the normal point(s) of entry. This will not affect the academy‟s
right to determine which applicants have priority for admission. Academies are also required through
their funding agreements to participate in in-year fair access protocols.
Will LAs still have the responsibility for planning for additional places when there is a growth
in student numbers within an area?
Local authorities will still have overall responsibility for ensuring that there are sufficient places to
meet demand locally. Where individual academies make a request to the Secretary of State to
expand their pupil numbers and/or age range, this will only be done following local consultation. The
decision taken will be informed by the views of the LA, as the commissioner of pupil places.
Who is responsible for setting any catchment areas when a school converts to become an
The academy is its own admission authority. That means that it becomes responsible for its own
admission arrangements. If it has a catchment on conversion it retains that catchment until it decides
to change it. The LA cannot change an academy‟s catchment area even if it has previously done so
when the school was a maintained school.
If the academy does decide to change its catchment it will need to consult on the change alongside its
other admission arrangements in line with the requirements in the Admissions Code (an eight-week
consultation with local schools, parents, the LA, etc. between 1 November and 1 March, determining
the arrangements by 15 April in the year before the one to which the arrangements are to apply – so
April 2011 for September 2012 admissions, informing consultees within 14 days of determination).
Any catchment must serve children of different abilities from the area.
Can the school alter teachers' pay and conditions?
When a school converts from a local authority maintained school to a new academy, staff are entitled
to transfer under the same employment terms and conditions. As an outstanding school, immediate
changes to the staff structure and operation are not anticipated. However, once open, the academy
trust may consult with staff and their union representatives on changes to these terms and conditions,
for example to enable the academy to operate over different term times or change the length of the
If we become an academy, do we have to take responsibility for pension arrangements of
teachers instead of the LA?
Teachers working in an academy fall within the scope of the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS), just
as if they were employed in a local authority maintained school. Staff transferring from a maintained
predecessor would simply continue their membership of the Scheme. As the employer, the academy
would be responsible for remitting contributions to the TPS and for all other administrative
responsibilities that fall to employers who employ teachers who are subject to the teachers' pensions
regulations. Teachers' Pensions, whose contact details can be found at the bottom of
this page, administer the Scheme on behalf of the Department and will provide you with full
information about the role and responsibility of employers in relation to Scheme administration.
Is it possible to comply with the statutory consultation period on TUPE in time for September
There isn‟t any definite period prescribed by statute for consultation under TUPE, but the period must
be generally sufficient to give time for an agreement to be reached with the staff. How long this will
take will vary from school to school and case to case. There is no minimum 10 week period as some
However, we are advising schools wishing to convert by September, and who will have made a formal
conversion request by the end of June, to start the relevant consultation as soon as possible.
What about pension arrangements for support staff?
Non-teaching staff at schools fall within the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). As the
employer, the academy would be responsible for meeting the employer contribution. Academies are
obliged to offer LGPS membership to staff and again, staff transferring from a maintained
predecessor school would simply continue their scheme membership. Unlike the TPS, there are a
number of component schemes within LGPS, with the local authority acting as pension administrator.
The employer contribution rate may be different from that payable by the LA. Academies mandatorily
fall within the TPS and LGPS but it would be open to an individual member of staff to opt out of the
TPS or LGPS, as the case may be, if they preferred to make other pension provision for themselves.
How will the TUPE process work, and what specific responsibilities does the school have?
A: The school needs to tell the LA of its intention to convert.
B: The employer is responsible for informing and consulting staff (see Question 5).
C: The LA does due diligence and passes staff details to the academy trust.
D: The academy trust writes to each member of staff confirming that they will transfer under existing
terms and conditions.
E: The LA or other employer gives indemnity for the period staff worked for them, normally as part of
the asset transfer agreement.
Where school governing bodies are responsible for doing the TUPE (and not LA) what are the
statutory requirements e.g. who must be consulted and how long should consultation last?
There is no statutory obligation for the governing body to consult unless it is planning to make
changes to working conditions or staffing before the transfer. If the obligation applies then the
recognised trade unions must be consulted or, if there are no unions recognised, employee
representatives must be elected. There is no minimum period of consultation specified, but
consultation needs to take place before any decisions are made.
Even if the statutory obligation does not apply, it is best practice to consult staff and their
representatives and to allow 30 days for this consultation. Governing bodies and local authorities
should also check whether there are any local agreements with unions as to how TUPE consultation
should be carried out.
In all cases there is a statutory obligation on the current employer to inform employee representatives
(i.e. the recognised union or, if there isn't one, elected representatives) of certain matters in writing.
the fact that the transfer is to take place
the date of the transfer and the reasons for it
the legal, economic and social implications of the transfer for any affected employees and the
measures which the employer envisages it will, in connection with the transfer, take in relation to any
affected employees or, if it envisages that no measures will be so taken, that fact.
The academy trust must inform the current employer in writing of any measures which it envisages
taking in relation to staff after the transfer (such as changes to working conditions), and the employer
must also pass this information on to employee representatives.
How will we get HR and payroll services?
As an academy, you will take on responsibility for many activities currently provided by your LA. HR
and payroll are examples of this. Through the conversion process you will need to decide whether you
wish to continue to buy this service from your LA or consider other providers locally through a
competitive procurement process.
Who can provide schools with advice on the TUPE process?
All schools converting to academy status should take their own specialist legal advice on TUPE,
although we expect that HR teams within LAs will have the necessary expertise to advise on the
TUPE process in general for LA maintained schools.
Will academies be free from the Ofsted inspection regime?
The Secretary of State has announced that schools previously judged outstanding will no longer be
subject to routine school inspection. However, that does not necessarily mean that they will never be
inspected. The performance of all schools will continue to be monitored and if there are signs of
deterioration or other factors are a cause for concern, these could trigger an inspection. Further
details will be available in due course.
Other than outstanding schools which convert to academies, we expect that other academies will
continue to be inspected in the normal way, except where they have already undergone a full
inspection and have been judged outstanding.
What are the proposed monitoring arrangements now that routine Ofsted inspections will
Subject to securing changes to relevant legislation, any school that has previously been judged
outstanding, including any school which converts to academy status will no longer be subject to
routine school inspection, as long as they maintain their high performance.
Performance information on all schools will continue to be collected. Ofsted will use this and other
information available to check on how each school is performing and if there are signs of deterioration
or other factors are a cause for concern, these could trigger an inspection. Further details will be
available in due course.