Maintained schools’ powers to form a company to enter into academy arrangements, and to co-operate with academies

August 18th, 2010

While our attention, in respect of academies, is naturally focussed on the Academies Act 2010, some less well known provisions relating to academies in the Labour government’s Children, Schools and Families Act 2010 are worth remembering.  These have been put into effect, on 19th July 2010, by a commencement order made by the current government.  Section 5 provides:-

5  Power to form company to establish Academy, etc

(1)     The governing body of a maintained school in England may— 

(a)     form, or participate in forming, a company to enter into an agreement under section 482 of EA 1996 (agreement with Secretary of State to establish etc an Academy), and

(b)     do anything which appears to them to be necessary or expedient in connection with a proposal that an agreement under that section be entered into with a company formed (or proposed to be formed) by them under paragraph (a).

By section 15(5) of the Academies Act, the reference to section 482 of the Education Act 1996 in section 5(1)(a) of the Children, Schools and Families Act 2010 is to be read as referring to academy arrangements under the Academies Act.

Section 6 of the Children, Schools and Families Act 2010  adds to the powers of governing bodies of maintained schools under paragraph 3 of Schedule 1 to the Education Act 2002 by adding the following sub-paragraphs:-

(2A)     The governing body of a maintained school in England (other than the governing body of a maintained nursery school) may provide advice and assistance to the proprietor of an Academy.

(2B)     The governing body of a maintained school in England may be a member of the foundation of another maintained school in England.

In this sub-paragraph “foundation” has the meaning given by section 21(3) of the 1998 Act, except that it does not include a foundation established under that Act.

(It may be that governing bodies had these latter powers anyway under the general powers in paragraph 1 of Schedule 3.)

Peter Oldham QC

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