Academy conversion process

Documents for schools converting to academy status.

Information for schools converting to academies, including model documents, policies, forms and guidance.

For full details about financing the conversion process, browse the academy funding collection.

You should read the guide on converting to academy status before using the documents on this page.

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

    • 25 March 2015
    • Form
  2. Academy model documents: schedule of changes

    • 12 July 2012
    • Form

Model funding agreements

The funding agreement is the contract every academy trust must sign with the Secretary of State. It provides the operating framework for the academy.

If you are applying to become a single mainstream academy, you can complete the funding agreement online.

  1. Academy and free school funding agreements: single academy trust

    • 18 March 2015
    • Form
  2. Academy and free school funding agreements: multi-academy trust

    • 18 March 2015
    • Form
  3. Academy and free school: multi-model master funding agreement

    • 19 December 2014
    • Form
  4. Church academies: model documents

    • 19 February 2015
    • Guidance
  5. Private finance initiative (PFI) academies: model documents

    • 30 September 2014
    • Form
  6. Academy conversion: model ballot documents for grammar schools

    • 25 June 2015
    • Form

Application process

If you are a primary or secondary school, you can apply to become an academy by completing the application form online.

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

    • 1 September 2014
    • Form
  2. Academy conversion: surplus and deficit balance transfer process

    • 25 March 2015
    • Guidance
  3. Timelines for schools to convert to academies

    • 2 July 2015
    • Guidance
  4. 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

    • 29 August 2014
    • 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 risk protection arrangements (RPA)

An alternative to insurance for academy trusts, offered by the Department for Education, which will come into effect in September 2014.

  1. Academies risk protection arrangement (RPA)

    • 18 May 2015
    • Detailed guide

Model policies

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

  1. Academy exemplar policies

    • 22 April 2014
    • Guidance