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Academy Conversion as Part of a Chain

The next wave of schools converting into academies will include many which choose to be part of a chain. This is because there are likely to be significantly more primary schools and Church schools opting for academy status in the next couple of years.

There are three options for schools considering conversion as part of a chain.

  1. A Multi-Academy Trust is the term to describe an organisation with a single shared governing body which governs more than one school.
  2. An Umbrella Trust is a partnership between schools in which each have their own governing body. It is possible for different types of schools (i.e. community, voluntary aided, voluntary controlled, and foundation) to collaborate together in an Umbrella Trust.
  3. A Collaborative Partnership is the most informal grouping. It allows schools to work together without being formally accountable to other schools in the chain.

The Government is keen to encourage chains because they regard this collaboration between local schools as the key factor in a sustained improvement in school performance – particularly for ‘weaker’ schools in the chain.

Each school in a chain (irrespective of whether they are entering a Multi-Academy Trust, an Umbrella Trust or a Collaborative Partnership), will be entitled to a grant of £25,000 from the Department for Education to help with conversion costs. The grants can be pooled to support the whole chain, although they don’t have to be.

Model documents for schools converting as single academies and for schools converting as a multi-academy trust can be accessed by clicking here

If you would like to discuss being part of a chain of academies, please contact our team on 01245 890110 or email [email protected].

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Model Documents

Multi-Academy Trust


Umbrella Trust


Collaborative Partnership


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