The Church of England is the largest single provider of academies and MATs into the education system. As a result of this engagement there is a developing level of experience and expertise from the Church nationally. Having converted around 60 schools to become academies and established or supported the establishment of 10 Church MATs, the diocese is contributing significantly to the national Church understanding of the academy programme. It is also able to offer that experience and our developing expertise locally.
What We Have Done To Date – April 2016 to December 2017
The DBE has engaged in extensive information and consultation sessions across the diocese through 13 Academy Roadshows. At these Roadshows the DBE met with more than 700 people representing church schools in the diocese. The aim of the Roadshows was to:
engage with and mobilise school leadership;
explain what an academy is, what a MAT is responsible for, and how a MAT is constructed;
provide clarity on the role of the diocese and the position of church schools, in line with the legal requirements for church schools and the Church of England’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between DfE and the Church of England;
identify MAT models and illustrate opportunities / limitations;
inform school head teachers and chairs of governors about the process to become an academy.
Since the Roadshows we have created further MATs, including two cross diocesan MATs with York Diocese and supported more schools in conversion.
We do not advocate the academy programme and value all our schools, regardless of their school status, however, we are here to support schools in their journey to academy status should that be either their governors choice or a requirement of the DfE.
The DBE Academy Toolkit is now available to support schools in deciding if, when and how to proceed to apply for conversion to academy status. Please see the following documents: