How to Join the Trust

If you’ve considered taking the leap and joining an academy Trust, to support you through the process we have listed below the typical route to joining us. If you’re still considering the options for the future of your school, or have any questions or queries, view our FAQs or contact us. Learn more about how you can join us below.

The process in 7 key steps

Investigate potential Trusts

This is one of the most important phases for schools considering joining a Trust. Think about the vision and values of your school and which Trusts most closely align. Talk to Trusts and visit them – they really won’t mind! Ask questions around their central charge and the services provided to schools and consider the geographical fit. Remember it’s not just about what benefits your chosen Multi Academy Trust can bring to your school, but also about the positives your school can bring to the Trust. Take time to understand how potential Trusts work and the delegation of autonomy between schools and the central Trust.

Investigate Potential Trusts - Join Us | Marches Academy Trust

Complete expression of interest

To join a Trust, Department for Education (DfE) approval is needed. Once you have decided on your preferred partner, an expression of interest is required for consideration by the Regional School Commissioner (RSC). This doesn’t tie your school into proceeding, but it gives the RSC an opportunity to review whether they think your school and your proposed Trust are a good fit. At Marches Academy Trust our central team will guide you through the expression of interest process and complete the form with you.

Teachers around laptop Shrewsbury Academy | Marches Academy Trust

Undertake due diligence process

The Trust you have chosen to join will need to undertake their due diligence to ensure they understand your school, its finances and the ownership of the land and buildings your school uses. At Marches Academy Trust, our central team will undertake this due diligence and share the timeline and areas covered. We will prepare a long-term financial model for your school to ensure viability and will look at your infrastructure to identify where investment may be needed. We will negotiate with other partners for additional funding for your school where possible, to help meet any challenges identified in our due diligence.

Due Diligence Process - Join Us | Marches Academy Trust

Consult with staff, children and young people, and the community

Schools are required to consult with stakeholders during the academy conversion process to ensure the views of the community are captured. At Marches Academy Trust, we’ll lead this process with you; our central Trust team will prepare materials for consultation and arrange consultation meetings and surveys. Our central HR team will lead on the TUPE consultation with staff and unions to make the process as easy as possible. We’re keen to hear the views of all parties during the process to better understand how your school and the Trust fit together.

Staff Community Consultation - Join Us | Marches Academy Trust

Undertake legal processes

There are several legal processes involved in the academy process. This includes the transfer of land, buildings and other assets as well as entering into a funding agreement with the DfE. Our Trust central team will lead on the liaison with solicitors and DfE project managers to complete these processes. There are often complications with land and building ownership which our team will help resolve.

Agree to proceed

Once the due diligence is complete, the legal issues have been resolved and the views of the community considered, it’s time to formally vote to proceed with joining the Trust. At Marches Academy Trust, our Trustees will vote whether to proceed and we’ll ask your school governing body to complete a final vote to proceed. We will then sign the legal documents and lodge with DfE.

Agree to Proceed - Join Us | Marches Academy Trust

Open as an academy within your new Trust

Congratulations – you did it! Your school is now a member of an Academy Trust. The post conversion period is important – how will the Trust policies and procedures be implemented and communicated in your school? At Marches Academy Trust we have a post conversion implementation plan to take schools through the induction into the Trust and the things schools need to know and do immediately, together with longer term alignment issues like IT systems and SharePoint. Our plan identifies which of the central Trust teams will work with you to ensure a smooth transition.

Open Academy - Join Us | Marches Academy Trust

Interested in becoming part of our Trust?

If you’re ready to take your consideration to the next level, get in touch with us today to find out more or for guidance on taking your application ahead.

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