How would a school join the Trust?
Any school wishing to join the Trust would need to complete an application form, available from the Board of Directors. This is then considered by the Board, who would either approve a ‘joining in principle’, or decline the application.
If a school is accepted in principle, then a detailed timeline and development plan is developed. A ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ is also signed. There are three ‘stepping off’ points for a school where it can withdraw from the process up until the final ‘exchange of contracts’, normally around a month before completion. Local Authority maintained schools can only join on April 1st of each year, whilst existing academy schools can join at any time.
What are the costs?
There are two sets of costs.
The first is the legal cost associated with each project. For an average sized primary school, currently within a Local Authority, these are likely to be in the region of £6,000.00. The Trust uses Stone King solicitors. The Local Authority will then charge an additional £5,000 to cover their costs.
The second is an optional cost. Drawing up the timeline, advising governors, ensuring appropriate resolutions are passed and managing the whole project can be organised through the Kingsbridge Educational Trust. The cost of this is likely to be around £8,000.00. This takes all the logistical demands away from the Governing Body although they would be kept informed throughout the process. Alternatively, a school can do it themselves and liaise directly with solicitors. The legal costs will be substantially higher if Stone King are expected to advise the process.
What happens if a school withdraws before conversion?
The incoming school would pay the percentage of the costs incurred to date of withdrawal.
Can a school withdraw after conversion?
The government are currently consulting on this option. Any change would need the agreement of the Regional Schools Commissioner.
Who can I contact for more information?
Peter Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org