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Academies and the Diocesan Academisation Strategy 

Information and guidance relating to Academies

Andrew Smith

Diocesan Director of Education (DDE)

Claire Graham-Brown 

Deputy Director of Education

Academies and trusts

Academies are independent schools run by an academy trust (Trust). Generally they are schools that have converted into an academy from a school maintained by the local authority, however sometimes academies are new schools (“free schools”). 

A Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee. The Trust’s board of directors/trustees (Trust Board) is its legal governing body and is responsible for running the Trust in accordance with its charitable objects and for the operation of the academies for which the Trust is responsible. The work of the Trust Board is overseen by the members of the Trust, which in any Trust that includes a Church school in the Diocese will include the Diocese of York Educational Trust. 

The Trust Board is aided in its work by the Trust’s chief executive officer and others within the central team, as well as the leaders and staff in its academies. There is also a key governance role for local governing bodies, who act as committees of the Trust Board. They have a specific remit to advise the Trust Board in relation to the particular school(s) the committee is responsible for and for overseeing areas and making decisions in relation to areas delegated to it by the Trust Board under the trust’s scheme of delegation. 

A summary of the differences between different types of schools and Church of England academies can be found below.

Diocesan strategy and Church school protections

Church of England schools can only join Trusts that provide the necessary protections for their Church school foundation. The York Diocesan Board of Education (YDBE) will ensure that these protections are in place before giving its consent to any Church school becoming an academy. The YDBE also provides guidance in relation to governance and operation of trusts and Church of England academies, including mandatory reporting requirements, which supports the formal Church school protections. Please click on the button below to find out more.

Any school interested in becoming an academy should familiarise itself with the YDBE’s academisation strategy and guidance below and contact the Diocese’s education team at an early stage.

Multi Academy Trust – key Diocesan expectations

Coming soon

Foundation governance and key leadership appointments 

All those involved in governing and managing a Church of England school should be aware of the specific requirements in relation to Church school governance and operation. Foundation appointments, which will be made at each tier of the trust’s governance, will have a special role in championing these and in supporting the trust to ensure that they are being adhered to.

Please see here for information and guidance relating to their appointment and role.

The YDBE is also involved in the making of key leadership appointments to partner trusts, including the chief executive officer, executive principals and headteachers. For further details, please click on the button below:

Partner Trusts

Details of the YDBE partner trusts are included below: