School Business Management


One Education has extensive experience and an exemplary track record in academy conversion, and successfully supporting the growth of multi-academy trusts.

Contact us or call 0161 276 0160

Why choose One Education for Academisation

We provide an extensive range of bespoke services for academies. Our services are tailored to your academy or multi academy trust's requirements. We can provide a bespoke package incorporating one or more services.

Thank you for everything you have done - it has been a massive help. Very Professional, thorough and thoughtfully undertaken

George Bulham, Principle
New Islington Free School

One Education

Academisation Overview

Converting to an academy can often be a complex and challenging process, and no two conversions are ever the same. One Education is here to offer your school the help and support in removing any barriers and simplifying the process for your school and governors.

Free no obligation consultation

Strategic Project Management


Human Resources Support

Finance Support

ICT Support



We provide an extensive range of services for schools and academies. These can be tailored to your requirements and we can provide a bespoke package incorporating one or more services.

Free no obligation consultation

One Education offer a free no obligation scoping meeting to provide you with all the information you will need in order to plan your next steps. This meeting can be arranged with your school Governors or senior members of staff. We will provide you with the key steps and milestones involved in converting to Academy status and joining or setting up a Multi Academy Trust.

One Education work in partnership with Slater Heelis and will provide you with an initial no obligation 90 minute information sharing session for your SLT or Governing Body.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Strategic Project Management

We will be there from the very beginning of the process to offer support and guidance on all important milestones and timescales. We will provide your school with a dedicated Project Lead who will deliver and manage the project plan for your conversion to enable you to continue with your daily Headteacher responsibilities.

We respond to issues as and when they arise, including liaising with all appropriate stakeholders including legal services, property service, Trade Unions, parents and community stakeholders.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111


Our Senior Leader and Governor Visioning sessions support you and your Governing Body in identifying and developing the vision, ethos and strategic direction for your school through understanding the current landscape of school management and governance and establishing a framework for future option.

These sessions enable your Governing Body and Senior Leaders to identify the best way forward to lead your school to success, whilst looking at the pros and cons of different academy options to ensure informed decision making.

Further Governance support for your school, during the academy conversion process, includes:

  • Support and advice in setting up effective governance structures
  • Delivery of training and briefing sessions to guide governors throughout the academy conversion process
  • Assessment of your governor’s skills and experience
  • Competitive governor clerking rates

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Human Resources Support

Our Human Resources support during the academy conversion process provides your school with:

  • Management of the TUPE process We will ensure that all documentation including regulation 13 letters are sent out within statutory timescales.

  • Due diligence review Working with your current payroll provider we will support you in producing an appropriate due diligence report for the new Trust.
  • Support at staff and Trade Union consultation meetings We will set up and lead on consultation meetings with staff and Trade Unions and provide necessary minutes to ensure your staff feel fully supported and informed of the process involved. FAQs will be provided and updated during the conversion process to staff.

  • Pension transfer advice We will ensure you receive the best possible advice in relation to your applications to the appropriate pension funds.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Finance Support

We recognise the challenges that you may face and have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the financial aspect of the conversion process.

Our academy conversion finance support package provides you with a flexible approach to support during and after conversion, including:

  • Assistance with preparation of financial data for submittal to EFA as part of application process.
  • Consultation with Local Authority and/or School Finance Staff regarding both the preliminary close down and final close down of maintained school accounts.
  • Closing down of maintained school accounts.
  • Assistance with setting up of new academy accounts (following accounting software installation and set-up)
  • New budget planning and forecast returns to EFA.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Legal Services

We work in partnership with Slater Heelis on the legal aspects of the academy conversion process.

Slater Heelis is a law firm with offices throughout Greater Manchester who offer a full range of legal services to schools and academies including advice on governance, supplier contracts, data protection, Freedom of Information Act requests, property issues, and dispute resolution.

As part of the conversion process, their solicitors will set up the academy trust and agree its constitution with the Department for Education, they will liaise with the relevant authorities to ensure that the appropriate arrangements are in place in respect of the school land and buildings, and they will agree the contractual documentation transferring the school assets to the academy trust.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Health and Safety Services

Not only does all legal responsibility move from the Local Authority to the Trust when a school becomes an academy, but the conversion also makes the trust the employer. UK law places the onus on the employer to ensure that all relevant UK health and safety legislation is complied with to avoid personal fines.

One Education and Vita Safety will work in partnership to offer your school the following benefits:

  • Attracting talent and becoming an employer of choice
  • Due diligence review on schools new to a Trust for the academy board
  • Benchmarking risks and needs across a multi-academy trust
  • Reduced staff absence levels
  • Improving H&S cultures
  • Demonstrating a systematically well-managed and caring environment to OFSTED

We will also offer the following services to ensure that your conversion is as smooth as possible:

  • Full Health & Safety compliance audit
  • Gap analysis report, including both property related risks (fire, asbestos, gas, legionella and contractor/supply chain management) and occupational safety and health.
  • On-site consultancy support and action planning
  • Review and development of Health & Saftey policies and procedures
  • Review and development of risk assessment
  • Training packages of both on-site and offsite training with our partners at One Education
  • Development and implementation of electronic and hard copy health, safety and property risk management filing systems
  • Fire risk assessment and emergency planning
  • Health & Safety phone and email advice lines
  • Group packages and Health & Safety strategies for multi-academy trusts

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Land and Building Services

As part of the transition to Academy status, Property Tectonics will undertake a due diligence technical report. This is a systematic review and analysis on the physical characteristics of the premises providing an informed assessment of the transition.

The benefits of the due diligence review include:

  • Quantifying future cost liabilities and producing an Asset Management Plan, covering the building fabric, mechanical and electrical services and external grounds
  • Considering the current design suitability of the school in terms of functionality and space
  • Asset register of Plant and Equipment
  • Premises related Health & Safety policy review
  • Premises related Statutory Liability review to include (note that this does not include actual surveys but a desktop review): a. Asbestos Management Plan b. Fire Risk Assessment c. Accessibility Statement d. Legionella and Water Risk
  • Energy Audit to identify potential energy consumption reductions and increased value for money

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

ICT Support

Our ICT support during the academy conversion process provides your school with:

  • A review and audit of ICT requirements
  • Website and marketing development for the new multi-academy trust
  • Negotiating ICT contracts
  • Data Protection audit
  • IT Business continuity development

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111

Post Academisation HR Support

We will also provide you with free on-going support following your conversion, offering a 24/7 Post-Academisation HR Helpline for a term following the conversion to ensure that you feel supported and secure in your new venture.

Contact us or call 0844 967 1111


We pride ourselves in putting children first and delivering exceptional services at affordable prices to schools. Here are some additional benefits of working with One Education.

Strategic project management

Support key decision making

Simplify the conversion process

Full consultation input and support

The future of the Academy system

Our Senior HR Manager, Pam Mason, offers guidance on the latest about academies and MATs.

Learn more

Training courses

Training courses & Conferences

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COVID-19 Webinars

One Education: COVID-19 Webinar series for schools - Can be viewed up to end of February 2021

Webinars will include discussion around The Recovery Curriculum, the experience of loss and isolation, how best to manage emotions as well as exploring anxiety and how to work with it using sensory activities.

COVID-19 Webinars

One Education: COVID-19 Webinar series for schools - 30 June 2020

Webinars will look at how to modify your curriculum, the best ways to use books to support children's emotional literacy and how we can help SEND pupils who have felt an impact due to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Webinars

One Education: COVID-19 Webinar series for schools - 1 July 2020

Webinars will continue; exploring how we can bridge the gap between home and school re-attachment, putting the best transition plans in place for SEND pupils, supporting autistic students back into schools post lockdown, and delving into a recovery curriculum for Looked After Children.

COVID-19 Webinars

One Education: COVID-19 Webinar series for schools - 2 July 2020

Webinars will look at safeguarding and pupil attendance during and after COVID-19, the Health & Safety essentials for re-building your school community, the changes to Payroll processes and how to maintain effective governance in challenging circumstances.

COVID-19 Webinars

One Education: COVID-19 Webinar series for schools - 3 July 2020

Webinars will explore the impact of COVID-19 on performance management, the best ways to manage ongoing HR Issues, how the equality law still applies as well as how to maintain a culture of positive wellbeing throughout the pandemic.

Training Course

OneWellbeing Webinar Series

This series of 5 webinars will guide leaders to develop, implement and assess their whole school wellbeing strategy. Offering practical advice and techniques to help you balance the needs of your staff and students.


Literacy Conference 2020 - Virtual Conference

The fifth annual One Education Literacy Conference is sure to be a great day! The theme for #LitConf20 is ‘Literacy for All’.

Training Course

How To Be An Effective Primary Music Coordinator - 01 December 2020, 09 February 2021 & 10 March 2021

Invaluable online courses for Primary Music Coordinators who are new to the role and need support and guidance on how to manage and lead music through their school setting.

An Academy is an independent state funded school. They have more freedoms than those schools under local authority control. When a school becomes an Academy, the employees of the school transfer over to the new Trust or Sponsor. The Academy is run by a Charitable Trust however still managed on a day to day basis by the Head teacher who is then called a principle.


There are a number of considered advantages through a MAT structure including:

  • Enhanced procurement – with a higher number of academies procuring services or goods together this increases the purchasing power of the Trust
  • Sharing best practices – it is easier to share and implement best practice through member academies. For example, one academy may trial an innovate teaching approach and if successful, this can be effectively shared across the Multi-Academy Trust (MAT)
  • Central resource base – shared resource pools allow easier forward planning and unexpected short term demands can be met more easily
  • Flexibility on funding – recent funding agreement documentation allows pooling of the General Annual Grant (GAG). This can assist with allocating the funding to offset variations in revenue and expenditure in each academy
  • Teaching and staff can be shared – the trust itself is the employer of the staff and therefore resources can be shared far more easily. This is still subject to effective communication with the employee and academy members
  • Access to external sponsorship – this will provide financial support and also raise the profile of the MAT

Dependant on the schemes of delegation some schools report a loss of autonomy and decision making especially in larger chains. Once you are part of a MAT many decisions are taken from your hands and you are no longer your own legal entity.


The responsibilities of the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) include;

  • Monitoring performance of Academies and intervening where underperformance is found
  • Making strategic decisions on the creation of MATs and granting academy orders
  • Ensuring there are enough academy sponsors meets local demand.

TUPE refers to the "Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006" as amended by the "Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014". Staff working at the ‘old school’ are transferred to the new employer ‘the Trust’ with contractual protections. This is a complex process and it is advised you seek HR advice from a specialist.


A local authority or the secretary of state may intervene when a school is deemed as ‘eligible for intervention’. A school may meet this criteria if;

  • There is a warning notice in place issued by the local authority in respect of performance of the school or if a warning notice has not been complied with;
  • The school has been judged as a Grade 3 or Grade 4 school (Requiring Improvement or Inadequate) by Ofsted.

A multi-academy trust (MAT) is a group of schools working in collaboration as one entity to improve and maintain high educational standards across the trust. The multi-academy trust is governed through a single set of members and directors.

There are typically two forms of multi-academy trust:

  • the group of schools may be an existing academy chain which a school elects to join
  • a number of schools come together to set up a new multi-academy trust with remit, governance etc decided collectively.

It is advisable that key governors and senior leaders come together to discuss their views before making a decision to set up or join a MAT. This kind of leadership visioning session can be very helpful.


The Trust or the Sponsor will be the new employer, employee contracts are moved over to the Trust, this is called TUPE. TUPE is a complex process and it is recommended you seek advice from a HR specialist.


It is advisable to have meetings with potential sponsors, speak to the Principles already with the MAT. Ask questions about what goes well and what could be improved. Look at the productivity of the schools within the MAT, does the sponsor have the resources to support your need?


There is no overriding education legislation that determines how MATs must be structured or managed. MATs are governed through their articles of association. The Department of Education has model documents to cover this including information about trustees and management. The MAT will set out its governance through an annual statement shared with key stakeholders. The key responsibilities for the operation of the MAT rest with its Members, Trustees and Local Governors.


Members are similar to shareholders of a company, who have rights under relevant company law. The members generally have powers to appoint some of the trustees and right to amend of the trust’s articles of association (subject to the consent of the Charity Commission). The members for the Trust are individuals or corporate sponsors that wish to be engaged for the long term. The DfE encourages trusts to have at least five members in total.


The trustees are responsible for three core governance areas as performed by a governing body in a maintained school.

These include:

  • Providing the strategic direction and vision
  • Ensuring the head teacher delivers against expectations, objectives and achieves positive educational results
  • Financial responsibility and stability

The MAT has the structure of a charitable company and the trustees are therefore company directors, and must comply with company law requirements. Model EFA articles state the chair of the board of trustees will also be a member to provide a connection between the two levels. Members hold trustees to account. The board of trustees may choose to set up different committees covering key areas specifically, such as education standards and finance.


Trustees can delegate governance functions down to the local level of the academy and therefore operate Local Governing Bodies (LGBs). Trustees have the discretion to determine what is delegated to each academy depending on its performance or operation. Individuals that sit on LGBs are often referred to as “local governors”.

Other MATs may take a different approach and retain governance at a central level. To achieve this it would therefore set up an advisory body at school level which does not have a formal governance function but advises the board of trustees on decisions taken. Each MAT should have a clear governance structure and document what is delegated to LGBs through a scheme of delegation. Local governors are not trustees of the academy trust unless they also sit on the academy board.


Each Multi-Academy Trust will have different requirements and approaches to finding the right chief executive. Trusts with a clear high performing lead will likely have the head teacher of this school becoming the Chief Executive. However in some trusts where the majority of schools are good or outstanding this can be a difficult decision to make. It may be beneficial to seek an independent person’s viewpoint before making a decision.


The MAT receives a General Annual Grant (GAG) relating to each academy and this is under the control of the Trustees. The DfE model funding agreement permits this to be pooled between the academies and allocated. Each MAT will have a master funding agreement, and supplementary agreement with each academy, which is signed by the Secretary of State for Education.

The MAT will file a single set of academy financial statements with the EFA and at Companies House.

All MATs operate a central function to ensure compliance and an oversight of management being a single entity. The extent of the function is determined by the MAT strategy and is model dependent. The central function does not receive funding directly and therefore charges a levy against each academy. Selected MATs keep the central function narrow to minimise the levy charged whereas other models pursue a larger central function not only to cover group compliance but to develop a resource base of high quality expertise and skills to drive up standards and results across the MAT.

The MAT must review and consider its reserves at the central level for the MAT and individual academy level. The purpose of retaining reserves must be clear and central policy established. Selected academies may have financial difficulties and therefore cross funding can be considered but the policy and benefits would need to be clear. Effective communication and negotiation with each LGB would also be required. Each MAT member will have pension arrangements for its teaching and support teams respectively though the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) and Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). Each academy will be required to meet its current obligations and make good any future obligations. If academy members are in the same boroughs, there may be scope for pooling of LGPS liabilities to manage liabilities and average pension rates.

VAT planning maybe required by the MAT where activities income, not covered by exemptions, exceed registration thresholds of £82,000. In this case, a MAT may wish to consider a subsidiary entity to ring fence the funding. The Academies Financial Handbook sets out the related duties and obligations of MATs in detail.


Meet The Team

Senior HR Manager

Pam Mason

Pam has been advising schools for over 10 years and is a primary school governor with safeguarding responsibilities. Pam worked as HR Manager at a secondary school and has experience of developing school improvement plans and supporting the school through a full Section 5 Ofsted Inspection.

HR Advisor

Karen McCabe

Karen is educated to post graduate level in Human Resource Management and has over ten years’ experience working in HR, with the vast majority of her experience focused on providing advice on a wide variety of HR issues and delivering training to schools.

HR Advisor

Dominique Stead

Dominique has extensive generalist HR knowledge with a specialism in Employee Relations. She has been responsible for a number of key accounts and provided HR advice to a variety of sectors as well as delivering training, including Investigations, Disciplinary & Grievance and Equal Opportunities

Latest Blogs

Our team of Education Professionals regularly author articles and news items. Use the link below to view these in our One Editorial Blog.


The future of the Academy system

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An education system agreed by all

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An education system agreed by all

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M12 6JH

Phone Numbers

Main Contact:
0844 967 1111
One Education ICT:
0844 967 1113
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0844 967 1116