Western Morning News – As published: 06 March 2014
The Government has made available a grant of £100,000 for primary schools converting to academy status. But you need to act quickly.
There is a limited amount of money in the pot: grant applications need to be made as soon as possible.
Whilst the grant has only been available since February 7, the DfE confirmed to our Education Team last week that a number of applications have already been made.
To qualify, there must be at least three schools, with the majority being primary, establishing a Multi Academy Trust (MAT).
A MAT comprises two or more academies governed by one company, with a single board of directors.
On top of the £100,000, each school joining the MAT will receive an additional £10,000 as well as the usual £25,000 support grant for conversion costs.
There is further support offered for smaller primaries – those with 100 pupils or less are eligible to apply for £5,000 and those between 100-210 pupils are eligible to apply for £2,000.
An existing single academy setting up a MAT is also eligible for the grant, provided that the majority of other parties are primaries, and the grant is only used for the benefit of the primary schools in the chain.
All decisions relating to the spending of the grant must be taken in partnership involving all schools within the MAT.
On the face of it, the new grant is clearly primary-focused. It is also a respectable amount of funding for establishing a MAT and could alleviate worries about set up costs, especially for small primaries.
For more information about the new grant or conversion to academy status, please contact Bethan Jones.