Humphreys & Co. can assist you in incorporating your Academy Trust following the Articles of Association approved by the DfE as suitable for a school which intends to convert to an Academy Trust.
Academies are publicly funded independent schools, free from local authority control, in accordance with the Academies Act 2010. Other freedoms include setting their own pay and conditions for staff, freedom from following the National Curriculum, and the ability to change the lengths of their terms and school days. They are signatories to a revised Funding Agreement (the contract between the Secretary of State and the Academy Trust that is signed before a converting school becomes an Academy) in such areas as target setting and the delivery of 14-19 education. Academies will receive the funding they would normally get from the Dedicated School Grant via the Schools Forum of their local authority plus an extra grant intended to cover the cost of services previously provided from the other collective services of the local authority.
An Academy Trust is a private charitable company, with the Members’ liability limited by guarantee (£10.00). The Academy Trust must be incorporated before you can sign the new Funding Agreement with the Secretary of State, as the contract is between this Academy Trust company and the Secretary of State.
In practice it will be for the members of the converting school’s Governing Body (in consultation with the converting school’s Foundation, if you are a Foundation or Voluntary school with a Foundation) to decide who should be the Members of the Academy Trust and who should be the Governors. It is possible to be both a member and a governor, but the Department for Education (DfE) recommends that the number of members is kept relatively small. The Governors of the Academy Trust are Directors in accordance with the Companies Act and Trustees in accordance with the Charities Act.
The exact composition of the Board of Governors/Directors of the Academy Trust is a matter for agreement between the Academy Trust and the Secretary of State and will be set out in the Articles of Association, which will be attached to the Funding Agreement for each Academy. There is scope for flexibility, to ensure the Board of Governors/Directors of the Academy Trust constitution meets the aims of all concerned, but there are certain minimum requirements concerning the number of parent governors and a restriction on the proportion of governors who can also be Academy employees or “connected” to the Local Authority.
Our Academy Trust Pack, which we will prepare on your behalf as part of the incorporation process, includes:
- Certificate of Incorporation;
- Draft Minutes of a First Meeting of the Board of Directors;
- Draft Form of Application for Membership by a New Member;
- Company form AA01 (to change the company’s accounting reference date, if necessary: the accounting reference date will be the end of the month in which the anniversary of the Academy’s incorporation falls, unless changed);
- Six bound copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association;
- Company kit box and loose-leaf company registers (Statutory Registers and Certificates of Membership); and
- Company Plier Seal in protective pocket.