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School effectiveness

Academies and multi-academy trusts

An academy is an independent state-funded school. This means it’s funded directly by the government (through the Education and Skills Funding Agency, ESFA) rather than by the local authority as maintained schools are.

Devon has a long history of partnership working, the Governance Consultancy team is experienced in assisting and supporting boards if you are thinking of collaborating with another school.

If you are considering converting to academy status you need to inform the LA and the Diocese (if applicable) early on in the process.

Single academy

Not all schools are able to convert as single academies. To be able to convert as a single academy:

  • your latest Ofsted rating must be at least good
  • your pupils’ attainment and progress must be high
  • you will need to prove that your schools’ finances are healthy

If you convert as a single academy, the Department for Education will expect you to support at least one other local school.

Multi-academy trust

  • All academies in a multi-academy trust are governed by a single trust and a single board of trustees.
  • The academy trust can establish a separate governing body for each of its academies. These are called local governing bodies. The board of trustees can then delegate some of its functions to the local governing bodies.
  • To convert as a multi-academy trust you can either join an existing trust or you can work with other schools to set up a new trust.
  • To convert as a multi-academy trust, each school in your proposed trust needs to submit a separate application and each of the existing governing boards must pass a resolution to convert to become an academy.
  • As part of your application you will also need to provide evidence of how the stronger schools in your proposed chain will help the weaker schools to improve.