Board of Education
Promoting Christian distinctiveness through excellent education in the Diocese of Rochester

How to change from a VC to VA School

How can a Voluntary school change its category from Controlled to Aided or vice versa?

First of all, the governing body must decide by a vote to explore the possibility of a change with the Diocesan Director of Education.

If the governors then decide to go further, there should be a informal consultations with staff, parents and the Local Authority. The Diocesan Board of Education would assist the governors in this process.

If it stills seems a good idea, then there should be a Statutory Consultation, guided by the Local Authority, and a meeting or series of meetings for formally receiving feedback, a brochure and an online version for explaining the proposal with a response form. At the end of this process, if there were no or very little opposition, the governing body would simply determine the outcome itself. If there were considerable opposition, they should consult the Diocesan Board of Education on the way forward.

Why would the governors think of changing category?

Reasons vary.

When considering changing from VC to VA they include:

1. Admissions

2. Changing the RE syllabus

3. Having more church representation on the governing body.

4. Seeing a more probable route for funding a building project

We have had no cases of governing bodies wishing to change from VA to VC

How can a Community School become a Church of England School?

The governing body should first of all explore the possibility informally with the Diocesan Director of Education.

There are two ways in which a Community School can become a Church of England School: by becoming a Voluntary School or a Foundation School. In both cases, in order to take Church of England religious character, the school will have to close and then be opened as a new Church of England School.

The process is best carried out if the Local Authority is sympathetic to the change, and so the Diocesan Board of Education and the Local Authority should both be approached.

If it is decided to go ahead, then the staff, parents and local community should be consulted informally, and a Statutory Notice drawn up bearing in mind the outcome of the informal consultation.

Because the Community School will need to be closed, and a new Church of England School opened, the Local Authority will have to gain exemption from the rules regarding a competition for opening the new school, and will have to action the two parts of the process through the Statutory Notice route.

We have had four cases of schools travelling this route. In all cases there were already strong links between the Church and the school, normally through the work of the local clergy.