The route from local authority maintained status to becoming an academy is now a well-trodden one. There is considerable experience available to call on. However, it is still a complex task and taking short cuts can lead to expensive mistakes and overlooking issues that should be dealt with before links with the local authority are severed.
The conversion process is the time when the future demands of being an academy need to be fully understood and responded to. Questions such as, does the school have the skills to enable it to prepare company accounts. Does it fully understand the current support for basic functions such as accounting, payroll and payment processing, education support, IT, HR, health and safety and premises maintenance?
A major change for academies is the need for governance regimes that meet the requirements of the companies act, charities law and Education Funding Agency's regulations. Do you have a clear understanding of the responsibilities of an academy trust? Do you have sufficient expertise on your governing body?
A thorough and well planned conversion will ensure that the first years as an academy will run smoothly and you will not be diverted from the task of delivering excellent education to your pupils by firefighting administrative and legal issues. The Academies Hub provides a valuable source of information and support. Guidance will be available on how to plan the conversion, what areas to focus on, understanding the expertise you need to bring in to assist the process and the characteristics required in a robust and independent up academy.
Education secretary hatches plan to tackle 'coasting' schools / Public Finance
Academy conversion process / Department for Education
Academy conversion: small schools supplement for primary schools / Department for Education
Academy exemplar policies / Department for Education
Convert to an academy: guide to schools / Department for Education
Establishing a new school: free school provision / Department for Education
Expanding your academy trust: resources for multi-academy trusts / Department for Education
Free school application guide / Department for Education
Free school pre-opening guide / Department for Education
Hundreds of 'coasting' schools to be transformed / Department for Education
Pupil referral units: converting to alternative provision academies / Department for Education
Restructuring in academies: a look at how the sector is evolving and expanding / CIPFA Academies, Colleges and Universities Panel
Converter academies: statistics / House of Commons Library
Information on schools converting to academy status / Department for Education