Academy conversion process

Documents for schools wishing to convert to academy status.

Information for schools converting into academies, including model documents, policies, forms and guidance. These should be used alongside the step-by-step guide ‘Becoming an academy’.

For full details about financing the conversion process, please refer to the guide ‘Academy funding: information for converting schools’ or browse the academy funding publications.

Model memorandum and articles of association

To convert to academy status, schools need to complete the memorandum and articles of association and return them to the Department for Education.

  1. Academy model memorandum and articles of association

    • 7 March 2014
    • Form
  2. Academy model documents: schedule of changes

    • 12 July 2012
    • Form

Model funding agreements

The funding agreement is the contract every academy trust signs with the Secretary of State to become an academy. It provides the operating framework for the academy, and different versions of the model are available online for each type of school, such as primary, secondary and special. Sponsored and converter academies can use the mainstream versions.

  1. Academy and free school: single model funding agreement

    • 28 March 2014
    • Form
  2. Academies: multi model funding agreements

    • 23 January 2013
    • Guidance
  3. Academies: ending selection at former grammar schools

    • 18 December 2012
    • Guidance
  4. Academies: 16 to 19 single model funding agreements

    • 29 January 2013
    • Guidance
  5. Church academies: model documents

    • 21 November 2013
    • Guidance
  6. Private Finance Initiative (PFI) academies: model documents

    • 14 January 2014
    • Form
  7. Academies: special academy model funding agreements

    • 3 December 2013
    • Form

Application process

If you are a primary or secondary school, you can apply to become an academy by completing the application form online or by downloading and filling in the application forms below.

If you are neither a primary nor a secondary school, you can currently only apply to become an academy by downloading and filling in the application forms below.

Conversion from a school to an academy takes around 5 months from the date the application is received.

  1. Academy conversion application forms

    • 4 March 2014
    • Form
  2. Timelines for schools to convert to academies

    • 22 January 2014
    • Guidance
  3. PFI schools converting to academies

    • 26 March 2013
    • Guidance

Land transfers

Advice, information and model documents for local authorities and schools on the process for transferring land to a converting academy, including land questionnaires and directions for governing bodies, foundations and trusts.

  1. Academy land transfers: model directions

    • 30 January 2012
    • Form
  2. Academy land transfer advice

    • 30 April 2013
    • Guidance
  3. Academy land questionnaires

    • 23 July 2012
    • Form
  4. Academy trust modification orders

    • 19 December 2012
    • Guidance
  5. Academy tenancy at will model

    • 2 July 2010
    • Guidance
  6. Academy long term lease model

    • 31 March 2013
    • Guidance
  7. Change of land use due to an academy conversion

    • 17 December 2010
    • Statutory guidance

Commercial transfer agreement

The commercial transfer agreement records information on all the staff, assets and contracts transferring from a school to an academy trust.

  1. Academy commercial transfer agreement

    • 27 November 2013
    • Guidance

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for academies

All academies are registered as independent schools and the governors and staff must undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

  1. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS): guide for academies

    • 13 July 2013
    • Guidance


Academies are responsible for making their own insurance arrangements and for ensuring they have carried out a competitive procurement process.

  1. Academies' insurance arrangements for 2013 to 2014

    • 12 December 2012
    • Guidance

Model policies

A series of model policies based upon real policies being used by academies.

  1. Academy exemplar policies

    • 20 February 2014
    • Guidance

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