Academisation: no longer optional

The Chancellor has announced in today's Budget that every primary and secondary school in England must be, or be in the process of becoming, an academy by 2020 and that legislation to this effect will be brought forward.  This presents schools of all types - those who are already established academies as well as those who are not - with some challenges, but also interesting opportunities.

The writing has been on the wall for some time now, but staying with the local authority is realistically no longer going to be an option even if both the school and local authority want it.  A great many schools have thrived under local authority "ownership" and many, especially in the primary school sector, do not want things to change,  but the Government has mandated otherwise.

In reality, some schools which might be perceived to have been local authority controlled have not in practical terms been run by the local authority - it has been the Head Teacher and the rest of his or her team, with the support of parents and others in the community.  Those schools are going to be best positioned to make the most of the opportunities which academisation could bring, including bringing together groups of schools to form their own locally grown solutions in the form of local multi-academy trusts ("MATs").  Others might use the opportunity to join with existing MATs or with providers operating in other parts of the education sector.

What is clear is that there is not a one size fits all solution.  Education providers are always at their best when they are free to create their own solutions, for their students and the communities they serve.

Rollits will shortly be announcing dates for a series of schools workshops. These will be offered free of charge on a first come first served basis at our offices in Hull and in York with guest speakers or, for those who prefer, we are happy to run the sessions in-school. The aim is to help school Governors and senior management teams navigate what has become a much more varied landscape in recent years, and to understand the full range of options which may be available or which could be created through innovative thinking.

Rollits' Education Team, the only such team rated by independent legal directory Legal 500 based in Yorkshire outside of Leeds, is steeped in the education sector.  We have worked for decades with a wide range of education providers including all types of schools, single and multi-academy trusts, nurseries, colleges and universities.  The Team's work is recognised nationally as "accomplished and active" by Chambers and Partners and every one of its members has a dedication and passion for the incredible work our education clients carry out in taking our communities forwards.

If you would like to secure an invite to a session or have any questions in the meantime please email  or contact the Head of the Education Team Tom Morrison by calling 01482 337310 or emailing

Posted on: 16/03/2016

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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