T: 03333 21 9000 (GB) E: academies@bishopfleming.co.uk

Faith Schools

We work with many faith schools and fully understand the different steps in the conversion process

There are approximately 6750 maintained faith schools out of a total of 19,783 maintained schools in England.

This equates to around 34% of schools which are designated with a religious character.

The Education Act 1944 introduced 2 categories of faith school:

  • Voluntary-controlled (VC) -  These had all their costs met by the state, but were controlled by the local authority.
  • Voluntary-aided (VA) -  These were partly funded by the state, with the foundation responsible for 50 per cent of capital works and having greater influence over the school. The 50 per cent figure has subsequently been reduced to 10 per cent, although the local authority does have discretion to cover this. They operate under foundations (usually trusts, which are often the Church Diocesan Boards).

Faith schools can convert to an academy. There are different standard documents that will be used during the conversion process to take into account the relationship with the relevant faith. The Department, the National Society and the Catholic Education Service have worked together to agree model articles of association and other documentation to support the conversion of primary and secondary church schools to academy status. There will also be a supplemental agreement, which the Secretary of State has agreed to sign, and which sets out the Department’s underpinning relationship with the dioceses.

In addition, some Catholic dioceses have agreed their own specific documentation with the Department for their converting Catholic primary and secondary schools.

Some dioceses find it useful for their primary and secondary schools to convert in chains of academies, perhaps under an umbrella trust, or in multi-academy trusts, or in collaborative arrangements so that the academies can be mutually supportive, and receive support from their Diocese.

Faith Schools Documents

Faith Schools News