Complete the DfE’s online registration form at www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/academies/primary/register
A DfE representative, who will become your named contact throughout the process, will get in touch with further guidance and documentation. The governing body may wish to start the statutory consultation with interested parties about becoming an academy. The consultation can start later, but must be completed before the funding agreement can be signed.
Application to convert/eligibility checks
Submit a short application to convert form, including the confirmation of the governing body resolution; the agreement of your foundation and trustees and those entitled to appoint foundation governors (if applicable).
You will also need to discuss with your DfE contact your in principle agreement to support another school to help raise standards. The Secretary of State will confirm whether he is content for your school to proceed to the next stage and, if he is, will make an academy order. The current employer of the school staff starts the formal TUPE process at this stage, prior to the funding agreement being signed.
Obtaining funding agreement
The DfE will support the governing body and head teacher to ensure that all legal documents are completed relating to governance, land, property and staff transfer and company registration.
The governing body must complete the statutory consultation with interested parties about becoming an academy before they and the Secretary of State sign the funding agreement. This stage of the process is completed when the academy trust and the Secretary of State sign the funding agreement for the academy.
The funding agreement will stipulate the date when the academy will open and the local authority will cease to maintain the school from that date. The current employer of the school staff will continue (and ideally complete) the TUPE process.
The governing body will need to finalise matters in preparation for the academy’s opening. This will include setting up new contractual arrangements as required and completing registrations.
It is not necessary to follow these steps in sequence. Depending on how quickly a school wishes to convert, they may need to undertake some steps in parallel to ensure that the necessary work is completed before conversion.
The timescale from the start to the end of the process is usually a minimum of three to four months, but it may take longer if there are complicated issues to resolve.
To find out more about AGS accountants in the West Midlands and our academies services, please contact us.