Skip to content ↓


What is an Academy?

An Academy is a state-funded school, which is not funded by or under the control of the Local Authority (LA). Instead, an Academy is funded directly by central government and is governed by a contract (called a ‘Funding Agreement’) between the Secretary of State for Education and the organisation which runs the school (the ‘Academy Trust’). Academies generally have more freedoms than state maintained schools.

A charitable company limited by guarantee (the Academy Trust) would be responsible for the Academy, and the Academy Trust signs the Funding Agreement with the Secretary of State as part of the establishment of the Academy.

What is the process for the MAT to be established and schools to convert into the MAT?

The conversion process to become an Academy and join the WSF MAT is focused on a change in the legal and governance aspects of the school.

The MAT and its schools will be independent of the local authority and funded directly from central government. Our school will convert from being a local authority community school and become an Academy. The process in this case involves:

  • seeking Department for Education (DfE) permission to set up the WSF MAT;
  • seeking DfE permission for us to o convert to Academy status, as part of the WSF MAT, resulting in DfE. issuing an Academy Order;
  • obtaining consent from the Warwickshire County Council (WCC) as freehold owner of the land and buildings;
  • carrying out and considering the results of a stakeholder consultation with the school community;
  • establishing and registering, at Companies House, WSF MAT, as a not-for-profit charitable company, which will then govern the schools in the WSF MAT;
  • transferring staff employment from WCC to the WSF MAT, and, under TUPE legislation (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006) consulting with staff about any proposed changes to their employment (of which there are none, but please see section 4 below); and
  • the development and approval of legal agreements between the MAT and other parties which include:
    • a funding agreement – a legal agreement between the DfE and the WSF MAT for the MAT to operate the Academy and for the DfE to fund this;
    • a land agreement, in this case a 125-year lease– between the owner of each school’s freehold, WCC, and WSF MAT; and
    • a commercial transfer agreement – which governs the transfer of the key operational aspects of the school, including the transfer of staff, service contracts, assets licenses, and building warranties. As part of this, the current employer will need to consult with staff under TUPE regulations (refer to the Staffing section below).
What are the risks around academisation and the influence of outside sources, e.g. agencies and privatisation?

The Trust is bound by charitable law that prevents private companies taking a commercial interest or investing in the Trust. Any surplus which the WSF MAT makes must be reinvested back into the Trust for the benefit of the schools – it cannot distribute profits to third parties.

Who makes the final decision on whether a school converts to an academy?

The school’s existing governing bodies will make the decision to join the WSF MAT, taking into account the result of a stakeholder consultation, amongst other considerations. The decision for each of the schools to become an Academy and join the WSF MAT also needs to be approved by the DfE.

Which schools are consulting to academise and join the WSF MAT?

There are four schools currently consulting:

  • Clapham Terrace Primary School
  • Evergreen School
  • Exhall Grange Specialist School
  • Westgate Primary School
Will further schools join WSF MAT in the future?

We would expect other schools to join as time goes on and any school that joins us would be expected to abide by our vision and ethos and governance structure and to fully contribute to and learn from the other schools.

Any decision on additional schools joining our group would be made by the Board of Trustees and the DfE.