Academy Conversion or Free School Setup

The decision to become an Academy or set up a Free School can be a challenging and daunting experience. However, we can provide you with independent advice and guidance with the support of our professional associates to talk though the benefits and limitations of becoming an Academy or setting up your Free School. We can help you understand the conversion process ensuring that you consider all the key aspects before converting.

Legal Support

Comprehensive and high quality legal support delivered by our expert partners who have significant experience of Academy conversions and setting up of Free Schools and who specialise in the range of legal disciplines involved in the conversion process. 

Project Management Service

We have found that no two conversions are identical, but we know that the process runs smoothly when the schools work closely with a dedicated project manager. Our experience makes us well placed to advise, guide and reassure you every step of the way. Support includes the creation of an individual plan for your conversion timeline, highlighting key dates, activities and deadlines, to help you along every step of the journey.

 We have a four stage approach to our conversion support, which is detailed in our separate brochure for Academy Conversion & Free School set up.  Click here to request a brochure.

Human
Resources
Support

Conversion to Academy status requires staff to transfer to the Academy Trust under regulations referred to as ‘TUPE’.  These regulations place legal and statutory responsibilities on the Trust and the current employer.

Our HR conversion package includes:

  • All aspects of the TUPE process to ensure the smooth transfer of your staff
  • Support with the Due Diligence process
  • Transfer of personnel data for payroll providers

Finance and Business Management

Our Finance support is completely bespoke to each school to ensure the support matches the individual requirements of your school/trust. Support can include: 

 

  • Undertaking Due diligence
  • Liaising with legal advisor for the completion of the Commercial/financial agreements, Articles and memorandum of Association and the funding agreements
  • Liaising with Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)
  • Preparation of the academy budget forecasts and reporting in the ESFA budget format
  • Training/mentoring of staff for the conversion to academy status
  • Advice on the Academies Financial Handbook and Charitable status
  • Assistance with pensions registration and advise on the LGPS liability
  • Financial Returns to ESFA
  • Advice on VAT, Banking and insurance
  • Through our procurement service offer we can provide procurement advice  and also assist you in analysing school contracts and preparing the commercial transfer agreement in preparation for Academy Status

    Data Management and SIMS Support Conversion Service

    A complete information management solution, ensuring essential school data is available throughout the conversion process.

    We will liaise with your Leadership team, Academy sponsors, administration staff, ICT support providers and software suppliers, to ensure the conversion process runs smoothly. We can also advise on the re-licensing of management information systems with your software supplier and the associate ongoing support services.

    Governor
    / Director
    Support

    Our Governor Support conversion package prepares your governance team for the challenges of becoming an Academy.

    We provide advice and guidance around a suitable governance model for your Academy, and provide training for Governors to prepare them for the changes to their roles and responsibilities as Directors/Governors of an Academy.