logo-education
0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

the Academies Act 2010

11 August 2010

The Academies Act has now been passed. Some of its provisions have come into force immediately whilst others will require commencement orders. During the Bills progression, there were a number of significant amendments made which schools considering conversion to Academy status will find useful to know.

Requirement to consult

Whilst the original position in the Academies Bill was that governing bodies of outstanding schools considering becoming an Academy were not required to consult stakeholders on the proposed conversion, the Act was amended to place a duty to consult on governing bodies. However, it is clear from the proposed amendment that the consultation required on conversion to Academy is not intended to be as wide or as far reaching as is required when an under-performing school is closed and is replaced by an Academy. The only requirement will be that the governing body consults with "persons who they think appropriate" and that this takes place before signing the funding agreement. The Department for Education (DfE) has promised to provide further guidance on the consultation requirements in due course.

SEN admissions

Under the terms of their funding agreements, existing Academies do not have to admit students with SEN where the Academy is named in the Statement of SEN. This is because normal parental preference regarding statemented children under the Education Act 1996 does not fully apply to old-style Academies. Parents have been able to make representations to the local authority (LA) for the Academy to be named in the Statement, but the decision on whether to admit the child has rested with the Academy, subject to successful appeal to the Secretary of State by the LA. However, new and converting Academies will now be required to admit pupils who are named in a Statement. This brings Academies into line with maintained schools.

Governance

The DfE has now published the model Articles of Association for Academy Trusts. The Academy Trust is the body which will run the Academy. The Articles of Association set down the governance model for the Academy Trust and, in turn, the Academy itself. As the Academy Trust is a company limited by guarantee, the governance of the Academy Trust is divided into two levels - members and governors.

The members together form the Academy Trust - they are the equivalent of shareholders in a company limited by shares. Every Academy Trust must have at least three members. The members retain the power to make a limited number of decisions and may have the power to elect some governors. However, once they form the Academy Trust, the members will meet rarely as the Academy Trust will be run on a day-to-day basis by the Governors who are the equivalent of the governing body of a maintained school. Governors may be appointed by staff, parents, the local authority, by a foundation, sponsor (if the Academy has one) and on behalf of the community. The governors may also be correctly referred to as "directors" in company law and "trustees" in charity law. Every Academy Trust must have a minimum of three governors: two parents and the principal/head teacher. However, there will no longer be a requirement to have a local authority governor.

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA 2000) does not currently apply to Academies. However, the Government has announced that it will amend the FOIA 2000 so that its application extends to Academies, including outstanding schools converting to Academies from this autumn. Academies will be required to provide information they hold in response to requests made under the FOIA 2000. However, they will have up to 60 days to respond to a request that is received in non-term time (rather than the usual 20 days for other public bodies). This brings Academies into line with maintained schools.

Conversion of non-outstanding schools

The Government announced in its recently published Draft Structural Reform Plan for the schools system that non-outstanding schools will be able to apply to convert to Academies from November 2010.

training and events

3Jun

Optimus Education - HR and Employment Law in Education - Webinar This conference is now a changed to a webinar

Exclusive offer for Browne Jacobson clients to join Dai Durbridge at popular Optimus Education HR and Employment Law webinar.

View event

9Jun

Optimus Education - HR and Employment Law in Education - Webinar This conference is now changed to a webinar

Exclusive offer for Browne Jacobson clients to join Dai Durbridge at popular Optimus Education HR and Employment Law webinar.

View event

focus on...

Running governing body and board meetings and AGMs effectively during COVID-19

This webinar looks at the options for decision making, tips for managing ‘virtual meetings’, changes you may want to adopt permanently and set out options for effective AGMs.

View

Upcoming webinars

Rising to the challenge, looking forward with optimism

Live panel discussion on how schools and trusts have risen to the coronavirus challenge and navigated the disruption, opportunities for the future and a Q&A session.

View

Back to school – preparing for a potential phased reopening of schools

This webinar looks at the implications of phased reopening of primary schools and explore some of the immediate issues’ schools are likely to experience.

View

Legal updates

Covid19: changes to special educational needs and disability (SEND) legislation

The DfE has published a notice under the Coronavirus Act 2020 as well as amending regulations and guidance which make some changes to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) framework arising from the Children & Families Act 2014 and the SEND Regulations 2014.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

View profile

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up