AGS has a highly experienced team, who can provide a fast and responsive service to schools considering whether to become academies.
We have produced step-by-step guide, setting out what a school needs to take on the way to becoming an academy. This is available to any school considering whether conversion is the right option for them.
This page provides a brief overview of the eligibility criteria for becoming an academy and the stages involved in the conversion process.
What is an academy?
Academies are publicly funded independent schools free from local authority control.
Academies are funded and maintained by the Department for Education at a level equivalent to maintained schools. However, an academy also benefits by retaining the Local Authority Central Spend Equivalent (LACSEG) part of its budget that is currently top sliced by the local authority. This will vary by local authority and year-on-year, but usually amounts to ten per cent of the school’s budget. LACSEG is being replaced by the Education Services Grant (ESG) in September 2013 which, for most mainstream academies, will be a flat rate of £150 per pupil.
Academies also benefit from a number of key freedoms including the ability to set their own pay and conditions for staff, freedom from following the national curriculum, and the ability to change the length of their terms and school days.
Who can apply to become an academy?
The Department for Education (DfE) welcomes applications to convert to academy status from all schools that are performing well, with each application considered on a case by case basis.
When assessing whether a school is performing well, the DfE will take into account the following factors:
- the school’s exam results from the last three years
- comparisons with exam results in similar schools (locally and nationally)
- the school’s latest Ofsted inspection, taking particular notice of the school’s:
- capacity to improve
- effectiveness of the leadership team
- any additional evidence which the school feels is significant in proving its performance.
All schools (irrespective of their Ofsted grade) can apply to convert in a formal partnership or chain with a school that is outstanding or performing well.
Academy chains are becoming increasingly common particular among primary schools, which may lacked the resources to convert on their own. The DfE is currently providing an additional grant of £25,000 to support chains of three or more primary and special schools with their conversion costs.
To find out more about AGS accountants in the West Midlands and our academies services, please contact us