Board of Education
I came to give life - life in all its fullness (John 10:10)

Academies Act 2010

Academy status for Church of England Schools

The Rochester Diocesan Board of Education (RDBE) values highly its church schools and seeks to support schools as they negotiate the opportunities offered by new legislation. As trustee in most cases and because of its powers under DBE Measure 1991, the RDBE requests that it be your principal adviser in all cases. Those schools who have achieved an 'outstanding' judgment from Ofsted under the Section 5 inspection are the first to be offered the opportunity to move to academy status.

Schools are advised to observe Department for Education (DfE) guidance and make good use of the DfE resources and advisers. Advice for Church of England schools is also available from the National Society and Lee Bolton Monier-Williams who are the RDBE's solicitors. Both are advising the Church at national and diocesan level on the opportunities, issues, and challenges presented by the Academies Act 2010 for Church of England schools. Amongst other requirements from the DfE, the Governing Bodies of Voluntary or Foundation schools, wishing to convert to Academy status must obtain the prior agreement of:

  1. Their Trustees and
  2. All those who appoint Foundation Governors to the existing school

In the majority of cases in the Diocese of Rochester 1. above would be either the RDBE or the local Vicar and Churchwardens.

The details for 2. above can be found in the existing schools Instrument of Government and could include the following;

  1. The Diocesan Bishop
  2. The Parochial Church Council
  3. Local Deaneries
  4. The Archdeacon and
  5. The Rochester Diocesan Board of Education

RDBE approval will be determined on a 'case by case' basis and will be discerned using the attached criteria. It should be emphasised that this framework is in place to support and protect the particular school seeking academy status for the long-term, to affirm our larger family of church schools, and to enable the RDBE to discharge its responsibilities fairly. To this end the RDBE asks Governing Bodies to use the attached letter of application, when applying to the Board for approval to the schools proposal to convert to Academy Status.

It should be noted that these conditions are provisional and that further conditions may be necessary if the development of legislation appears to require them.

John Constanti - Acting Director
August 2010