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  • The UK's leading law firm for school to academy conversions

  • School to Academy is a division of BHW Solicitors and has an unrivalled track record of providing the best legal and strategic advice to the education sector for school to academy conversions.
  • Chambers and Partners UK leading firm 2012

Putting it all Together


  1. This can be done by using the online form (available from DfE) once the school’s governing body has agreed the intention to convert to an academy. Following submission of the online application the school will be allocated a DfE Project Lead. It is also a good idea to notify the Local Authority at this early stage.


  1. The school is legally required to consult with interested parties (such as parents, staff and link schools) and (although this process can be done at a later date) it is advisable to start the consultation at the earliest time possible to make the whole conversion process as transparent as possible.  


  1. Applications take approximately 4 weeks for DfE to consider and need to be supported by the governing body’s consent. Unless a school is performing well, it is usually necessary to demonstrate to DfE the school’s plans to develop and raise standards in collaboration with other local schools. 


  1. TUPE relates to the school’s employees who will automatically transfer from the school to the academy. There are various legal requirements and considerations in respect of TUPE (such as consultation and the provision of certain information) and because most schools' HR function is administered by the Local Authority it is usually best to instruct them to run the TUPE process with the governing body.


  1.  The granting of an Academy Order is the green light to start the legal process.


  1. The governance and constitution documents consist of the Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association. These are essentially the rules governing how the academy is operated and administered and deals with matters such as meetings, voting and company structure.


  1. Thought will have to be given in respect of the make-up of the governing body when incorporating the school as an Academy.


  1. In most cases the land a school sits on is owned by the Local Authority and a 125 year lease will usually be granted. Careful consideration will need to be given in respect of any shared usage issues.


  1. The Commercial Transfer Agreement is the document which transfers the assets, contracts and employees needed to run the school from the Local Authority to the Academy.


  1. The Funding Agreement primarily governs how funding will be allocated to the school and how it is to be used.


  1. The academy must open on the first day of a month.

School to Academy

School to Academy
BHW Solicitors
5 Grove Court
Grove Park
Leicester LE19 1SA
Tel: +44 (0)116 289 7000
Fax: +44 (0)116 281 6229