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Chelmsford Diocesan
Board of Education

Promoting life in all its fullness through education across Essex and East London

FAQs

WHAT SHOULD WE DO FIRST?

How do academies under the Academies Act differ from previous academies?

WHAT IS A MAINTAINED SCHOOL?

What does it mean to be maintained?

What is the Local Authority’s duty to maintain and what does that mean for the school?

What replaces the LA’s duty to maintain for an academy?

What is a designated religious character and may it be removed?

WHAT IS A VOLUNTARY SCHOOL?

Who owns a voluntary school?

Who runs it?

Do the trustees have any control over the governing body?

Does the DBE have any control over the governing body?

Does the DBE have any control over the trustees?

WHAT IS A FOUNDATION SCHOOL?

How is a foundation school different from a voluntary school?

Who owns it?

Who runs it?

Does the foundation have any control over the governing body?

Does the DBE have any control over the governing body?

Does the DBE have any control over the foundation?

WHAT IS AN ACADEMY?

What does the government intend by this new academy programme?

What does it mean to be an Independent School?

Is an academy just like all other independent schools?

Is an academy a business?

So who owns the business?

Who runs the business?

Does becoming an academy mean leaving the family of Church of England schools?

Does it mean leaving the Local Authority family?

What are the academy freedoms?

What are the revenue consequences of converting?

What are the capital consequences of converting?

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE?

What relationship do school and diocese want for the future?

What relationship do we want with the Local Authority?

Do we want to convert on our own or in a group?

What kinds of groups are possible?

How do we protect the religious ethos of our school in mixed groups?

What about existing federations or collaborations?

What models for groups of academies are there?

 

THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE

Is conversion into an academy a fundamental change or do some things stay the same?

What is the government policy of conversion “as is”?

What can actually be changed and when?

What about age range or other changes?

How is the religious character of an academy preserved?

Is an academy company a charity?

Who are the charity trustees of that academy company?

Why are they sometimes called Governors?

How do the existing trustees fit into the picture?

Who are our existing trustees? Do all voluntary and foundation schools have them?

How is the land dealt with?

Why does the Supplemental Agreement include possible diocesan/trustee powers over the land?

What happens if an academy closes?

Can we just decide to change back?

WHERE TO BEGIN AND WHAT TO READ

What should we do first?

Where can we find information and guidance?

Who can we talk to for informal advice?

DISCUSSIONS AND CONSULTATIONS

Who should we talk to early on?

How much should we try to do before we begin the formal process?

Who decides to begin the formal process?

THE FORMAL PROCESS

Which schools can now apply for conversion?

How do schools make a formal beginning?

Who has to agree?

Who will help and advise schools?

Who will pay for the conversion process and will it be enough?

How is the decision made and who makes it?

TAKING THE BIG DECISIONS

Are we going alone or in a group?

What member and governor models are right for us?

Are we going to change to VA or Foundation majority before conversion?

Are we going to agree to change to majority model after conversion?

What services are we going to buy in from our dioceses?

What services are we going to buy in from our Local Authority?

What services are we going to buy in from elsewhere?

THE MODEL DOCUMENTS

What model documents are there for Church of England schools?

How do we decide which model Memorandum and Articles to use?

How much leeway is there in changing the Memorandum and Articles?

What is the Supplemental Agreement?

Is it compulsory and can it be changed?

Why is a lease from the trustees sometimes needed and sometimes not?

What are the alternatives to a lease from the trustees?

Who decides whether a lease is required?

Can we change the model lease or use a different one?

What is the Members Agreement?

Is it compulsory and can it be changed?

Who decides whether there should be a Members Agreement or not?

SOURCES OF DETAILED ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE

Do we need a lawyer?

Do we need to pay someone to do the non-legal work for us?

How is the cost of diocesan work covered?

A BIT OF BACKGROUND

What has been happening since the Academies Act 2010 became law?