Academy Conversion

Converting to an academy

Do you or your Governing Body need help in making the decision to convert to an academy or join a MAT?

Academy conversion children in a playground image

One Education has extensive experience and a successful track record in supporting the academy conversion process. This process can often be complex and challenging, and no two conversions are ever the same. We are here to offer help and support in removing the barriers and simplifying the process for your school and governors.

We offer a free no obligation scoping meeting to provide you with all the information you will need in order to plan your next steps

Have you made the decision to convert and need advice on what to do next?

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 can be with Governors or Senior staff at your school. We will provide you with the key steps and milestones involved in converting to Academy status and joining or setting up a MAT.

Would you like a free 90 minute information sharing meeting with Academy advisors?

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.

Register for your FREE 90 minute scoping meeting

Choose the support you need

We offer a comprehensive range of support for every aspect of the academy conversion process, which can include:

Key Documents for Academy Conversion

Academy Conversion FAQs

Multi-Academy Trust FAQs 

Strategic Project Management

Senior leader and governor visioning sessions 

These sessions will support you and your Governing Body in Identifying and developing the vision, ethos and strategic direction for your school.

Project management

We can be there from the start to offer support and guidance on important milestones and timescales. You will be provided with a dedicated project lead who will provide and manage the project plan for your conversion to enable you to continue with your regular Headteacher responsibilities.

Management of the entire academisation timeline

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.


  • Facilitation of visioning sessions for governors 
  • Support and advice in setting up fit for purpose 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

Visioning sessions

These sessions support the governing body and senior leaders to identify and develop the vision, ethos and strategic direction for the school, through understanding the current landscape of school management and governance and establishing a framework for future options. This will enable your school to identify the best way forward for you, and look at the pros and cons of different academy options to inform decision making.

Find out about our full range of Governor Support services

Human Resources support

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.

Find out about our full range of HR Services

Finance support

Conversion to academy status can seem a very daunting experience. 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. 

Whether you require assistance with the preparation of financial data for submittal to ESFA as part of the application process, assistance with the closure of your old school accounts or assistance with the budget forecast return to ESFA, our academy conversion support package provides you with a flexible approach to support during and after conversion.

Preparation of Documentation

  • Assistance with preparation of financial data for submittal to ESFA as part of application process

Consultation with LA and/or School Finance Staff

  • Liaising with Local Authority regarding the preliminary close down of maintained school accounts
  • Liaising with Local Authority regarding the final close down of maintained school accounts

Closing Down of Maintained School Accounts

  • Preliminary close down of maintained school accounts
  • Final close down of maintained schools accounts

Academy Chart of Accounts Structure

  • Assistance with setting up of new academy accounts (following accounting software installation and set-up)

New Budget Planning and Forecast Returns

  • Assistance with budget forecast return to ESFA.

Find out about our full range of School Finance Services

Legal Services

Slater Heelis LogoWe work closely with Slater Heelis on the legal aspects of the academy conversion process and have been working in partnership with them since 2012.

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 their 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.

More information can be found on the Slater Heelis website.

Health & Safety services

Vita SafetyWhen a school becomes an academy legal responsibilities move from the local authority to the trust and the trust becomes 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 the following benefits and services to schools who are looking to convert.

Benefits in effectively managing health and safety:

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

Services offered:

  • Full health and safety compliance audit and gap analysis report, including both property related risks (fire, asbestos, gas, legionella and contractor/supply chain management), occupational safety and health
  • On site consultancy support and action planning
  • Review and development of health and safety 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 and safety phone and email advice lines
  • Group packages and health and safety strategies for multi academy trusts

More information can be found on the Vita Safety website.

Land & Buildings services

Property Tectonics LogoAs 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.

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. This includes gaining a full understanding of the physical condition of the school including defects (note that the school recently benefited from a portion of this by way of a condition survey)
  • 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):
    • Asbestos Management Plan
    • Fire Risk Assessment
    • Accessibility Statement
    • Legionella and Water Risk
  • Energy Audit to identify potential energy consumption reductions and increased value for money

More information can be found on the Property Tectonics website. 

ICT Support

  • 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

Find out about our full range of ICT Support Services

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.