Statutory guidance

School organisation: local-authority-maintained schools

Statutory guidance about making organisation changes to local-authority-maintained schools, including school closure.

Applies to England


Opening and closing maintained schools


These documents are for:

  • governing bodies
  • local authorities
  • decision makers

They describe opening, closing, or making school organisation changes to local-authority-maintained schools.

They set out how you can make those changes, and the areas where you must follow a statutory process.

This guidance is based on:

Statutory guidance sets out what schools and local authorities must do to comply with the law. You should follow the guidance unless you have a very good reason not to.

Published 28 January 2014
Last updated 5 November 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated 'Opening and closing maintained schools' document.

  2. Removed 'Deciding prescribed alteration and establishment and discontinuance proposals'.

  3. Removed 2016 document 'Opening and closing local-authority-maintained schools'. Has been replaced with document from November 2018.

  4. Replaced file 'Making significant changes to maintained schools' with 'Opening and closing maintained schools'.

  5. Attached new version of 'Making significant changes ('prescribed alterations') to maintained schools' to update the guidance from 2016.

  6. We have comprehensively reviewed and updated all 3 documents. The changes include corrections to discrepancies in the guidance on making ‘prescribed alterations’ to local-authority-maintained schools.

  7. Updated page to explain that we are currently reviewing our guidance to local-authority-maintained schools. We will update it shortly.

  8. First published.