Academy A
Nicholas Hancox advised a Church of England Diocese on all aspects of the the conversion of one of their primary schools into an academy.

Academy B
Nicholas Hancox advised the joint promoters of this Academy on school governance and on the range of policy documents required.

Academy C
Advised by Nicholas Hancox and two QC's, one of our clients was negotiating for a new Academy Group to take the place of its current group of independent faith schools.

Academies and Free Schools

The Academies Act 2010
This Act (much amended by the Education Act 2011) sets out the procedures for converting an existing maintained school into an Academy. Maintained schools which are approved for conversion (all Ofsted "outstanding schools" are automatically approved) will find that their local authority funding stops quite suddenly and is immediately replaced by DfE funding.

Similarly, the school staff currently employed by the local authority or by the current governors will be transferred immediately to a new employer, which will usually be the charity which will run the school. The school buildings and playing fields will also transfer to the new owners, but this can be expected to be a more complicated transfer, especially if there are joint user projects to sort out, or shared playing fields. Finally, the school's accumulated capital funds will transfer to the new school, if and when everybody agrees that these funds did exist and that they did 'belong' in some way to the outgoing school governing body.

Free Schools
The Free Schools project is aimed primarily at parents and teachers who want to start a completely new local school, which they can run with DfE funding. The New Schools Network was commissioned to advise and assist applicants, but the decisions will be made in the DfE.
There is no transfer of staff or property or money here, because the Free School is essentially brand new. Instead the promoters have to demonstrate to the DfE that they have:

  • The drive to set up and run a new school;
  • The necessary educational and organisational skills;
  • Some promising ideas as to a site or building for the school locally;
  • An initial list of interested parents who can be expected to send their children.