Since publishing this article the Department for Education has updated their guidance to explain that this grant (which is available to Primary schools creating a new academy chain to help support its development) is now available until 30 April 2016.
Primary schools creating a new academy chain, known as a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), will be able to claim a grant in order to help support its development. The Primary Academy Chain Development Grant has been agreed by the Secretary of State in order to provide financial support to more primary schools to build their partnership and encourage the benefits of being part of an academy chain.
The grant is available until 31 March 2016 and is for £75,000, plus up to £5,000 per additional primary school, up to a maximum of £100,000. Only new MATs can claim this grant if they fit either of the eligibility criteria:
If groups of two or more primary schools are joining an existing MAT at the same time, the MAT can apply for a grant of £20,000 per primary school (up to a maximum of £80,000).
A Small School Supplement is available for primary schools with less than 210 pupils who are joining a MAT to help meet the expenses associated with the conversion process. Those with 100 pupils or less can apply for £5,000, whilst those with between 100-210 pupils can apply for £2,000.
The grant can be used flexibly, providing that it is used for the establishment and advancement of the MAT as a whole. Within a year of receiving the grant, a case study must be provided for the Department for Education website, and there is a requirement for the MAT to use their experience to help others either through academy sponsorship, for example applying for teaching school status or providing mentoring for another group of primary schools interested in conversion.
For more information, please contact Bethan Jones.