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Academy Trusts

Academies are state-funded independent schools which are operated by academy trusts which have a funding agreement with the Department of Education.

Academies are required to offer a broad and balanced curriculum to their pupils and are inspected by Ofsted (and SIAMS if they are Church of England schools).

The Diocesan Board of Education supports governing bodies of our Church schools who wish for their schools to become an academy and join a multi-academy trust (MAT).

It is the policy of the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) that Church of England schools in the Diocese of Guildford must join a multi-academy trust which use the national Church of England Articles of Association.

The Diocesan Schools Partnership

The Diocesan Schools Partnership is a collaborative alliance between the DBE and academy trusts within the Diocese of Guildford.

The aim of the partnership is to support the growth of our trusts and to ensure there is sufficient capacity within the academy sector for every Church of England school with the Diocese of Guildford, to join a trust.

There are five multi-academy trusts (MATs) and one single academy trust (SAT) within the Diocese including:

*Single Academy Trust


The Academy Process - Getting started

1. The Governing Body (GB) investigates the possibility of academisation including meeting with any MATs (Multi-Academy Trusts) they are considering joining.  GB approaches their preferred MAT.
2. The MAT agrees to accept the school, subject to due diligence.
3. GB decide to become an academy and to join the named MAT.
4. GB formalise their decision by passing a resolution at a meeting of the board – this should be recorded in the meeting minutes, with full details of the motion passed, including votes for and against.
5. GB send letter on headed paper by email to Academies Officer, detailing the date/details of the resolution, to request ‘Conditional Consent’ from the DBE (Diocese Board of Education) to proceed with academisation and to join the (named) MAT.
6. GB completes the DBE Conditional Consent application form here.
7. Academies Officer prepares documents for the DBE Committee to seek conditional consent for the school to convert to academy status and join the named MAT.  This allows further due diligence to take place.
8. DBE Committee gives its conditional consent for the school to proceed.
9. Academies Officer sends formal Letter of Conditional Consent (via email) to the Chair of school governors.
10. Academies Officer seeks further consent for the school’s academisation plans from the Parochial Church Council (PCC) who appoint foundation governors to the school and the school’s Site Trustees.
11. School starts the online academisation process here.
12. Legal documents prepared and brought before the DBE Committee for final approval*

*A Diocesan administration fee of £2500 will be charged prior to the DBE’s final approval which is payable from the Government’s academy support grant (£25,000) paid to the school/MAT on conversion.

DBE Academy Policy

The Diocesan Board of Education published it academy policy in September 2022. The policy sets out the criteria which must be met by groups of Church schools seeking to create a new multi-academy trust and existing academy trusts wishing to take Church schools into their trusts.

DBE Memorandum of Understanding 
New CofE Articles of Association FAQs

Further Information & Feedback

Please contact us should you require any clarification or need further information or support.  In addition, we warmly welcome your  comments or suggestions of how you think we could improve the Academies website, including whether there are any FAQs you feel should be added to the current list.

Please send all enquiries or feedback to our Academies Officer, Mark Cripps.

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