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What is Academy Status?

The Diocesan Board of Education has been working with its church schools since 2010 as they explore and make the transition to academy status.  We’ve also set up our multi-academy trust, The Good Shepherd Trust, with a mission to offer transformational education so that all young people in its schools can experience success. 

The White Paper ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’ in March 2016 sets out the Government’s policy that all schools should either have converted to academy status, or be in the process of conversion, by 2020. A new Memorandum of Understanding between the Church of England and the DfE ensures that the religious character and ethos of church schools will be protected on conversion and  that academies will remain part of the diocesan family of schools.

The DBE will publish further guidance about academy conversion shortly. You may find the following resources helpful  at this stage:

Educational Excellence EverywhereMarch 2016

Forming or joining a group of schools: staying in control of your school’s destinyOctober 2015 ACSL/Browne Jacobson/NGA

More Information
The Department for Education

The DfE's Academies website provides background information, regular updates about the progress of the programme, details about the conversion process and standard documentation for schools undertaking conversion.

Chester Diocese

The diocese of Chester has produced a useful analysis of the positives and negatives of becoming an academy: Document for Schools considering Academy Status (PDF)


How Schools Can Convert

The Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) leads the diocesan academies programme and set up the registered charity, Guildford Diocese Educational Trust (GDET), to oversee this work. GDET also acts on behalf of the DBE to approve the application of diocesan schools to convert as single academy trusts.

Related Documents:

A Summary of Advice from the National Society for Church Schools and Lee Bolton Monier-Williams (PDF) - This short summary gives a quick over-view. However, becoming an academy is a major step for a school and there is a lot to weigh up in the making the decision and a lot of detail to be handled.

Academies Presentation October 2014 (PPTX) 
A PowerPoint presentation with information on academies.

For further information about the academy conversion process, please contact:

Deborah Pepper

School Organisation Officer

Deborah has wide experience of governance, including school governance, together with skills in management consultancy and HR gained in the corporate and charitable sector. She has worked for the Diocese since 2014 on academy policy and school organisation issues and also serves as a churchwarden and a charity trustee. 

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