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

creating an academy group

27 November 2011

The Secretary of State has now opened up the academy programme to groups of schools regardless of their individual Ofsted ratings, as long as at least one of the member schools is outstanding or good with outstanding features. It is therefore worth considering the potential governance arrangements under such an approach.

There are clearly opportunities for clusters of primary schools to come together to form an academy group.

Interested schools will have many questions: Does each converting school have its own Governing Body? Does one school act as sponsor? What happens if one school wants to leave the group?

Whilst there is some flexibility as to how you can establish a group – we understand that the Department for Education (DfE) is interested to hear from schools with innovative ideas and approaches – it is worth considering the two most obvious approaches.

Schools could establish a charitable company whose members and governors could be proportionately representative of the member schools. This charitable company could then establish a separate academy trust for each member school, with each academy trust having its own board of governors.

Alternatively, schools could establish a charitable company, again whose members and governors could be proportionately representative of the member schools. However, instead of this charitable company setting up separate academy trusts with separate boards there would be one board of governors. Whilst there would be a separate local governing body for each school, ultimate responsibility for running each school would rest with the main board. Unlike the previous option there would only be one employer using this approach.

There are a number of common concerns that arise when considering how schools can join together to form a group, including the protection of school autonomy, the risks of being taken over by a stronger school and the challenges of primary schools not understanding secondary issues and vice versa.

Whilst the challenges and barriers to creating an academy group may appear difficult, there are a number of variations that can be built into the group structure to address these concerns to a large extent. However, it is clear that in order to create an effective group, the collaborating schools will need to start from a strong base of mutual trust and respect and they will need to have at their core a real commitment to creating a self-improving school system.

training and events

14Oct

ISBL regional Conference Sheffield

Browne Jacobson’s Associate Sophie Jackson discusses the rise in growth of SEN and the impact of this on schools. Please note that this event was postponed from June 2020.

View event

4Mar

ISBL regional Conference Park Regis Hotel, 160 Broad St, Birmingham, B15 1DT

Browne Jacobson’s Associate Philip Wood discusses the rise in growth of SEN and the impact of this on schools. Please note that this event was postponed from May 2020.

View event

focus on...

Legal updates

be connected newsletter for education - September 2020

In this edition we provide you with the latest in legal updates, news and insight from the sector.

View

Legal updates

New year, new Academies Financial Handbook

On 1 September 2020, the latest iteration of the Academies Financial Handbook (AFH) came into force.

View

Legal updates

be connected newsletter for education - June 2020

In this edition we provide you with the latest in legal updates, news and insight from the sector.

View

Legal updates

Coronavirus employer toolkit for schools and academies

HR and employment related resources to help schools and academies manage their people as best as they can during what is a very challenging time.

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.

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up