Diocese of Carlisle approved as an academy sponsor


Jun 5, 2013

The Diocese of Carlisle has been given approval by government ministers to become an academy sponsor.

The Department for Education’s decision means the diocese will now create a Multi Academy Trust (MAT).

It is expected to be up and running by Christmas.

There are 106 Church of England schools and academies in the Diocese of Carlisle, catering for eleven thousand pupils aged between 3 and 18. Seven of the good or outstanding schools have already chosen to become academies.

It is also the government’s clear expectation that where a school has been judged by OFSTED – the body which oversees standards and quality in education - to have ‘serious weaknesses’ or ‘requires special measures’ then conversion to an academy would be the normal route to secure improvement.

Where this is a church school the diocese will be the school’s sponsor and take over responsibility for every aspect of the school.

The MAT will support schools converting to academy status with the ultimate aim of securing their sustained improvement.

Michael Mill, Diocesan Director of Schools, Children and Young People, said: “We are pleased that it has been recognised that we have the structures in place and the capacity to be an academy sponsor.

“Our aim is to make sure that where governors decide that becoming an academy would be beneficial to the on-going education of children at their school we will be able to support them into the future.”

The Trust will be based around the significant expertise that already exists in church schools across the diocese to secure school improvement and provide the necessary services.

The diocese will also be developing local partnerships to build a network of support.

Where other schools feel that being part of the MAT would be good for their school then they would also be able to join the Trust.

Notes for editors:

  • Academies are independent, state-funded schools.
  • They have the ability to set pay and conditions for staff, set their own curriculum and set the lengths of terms and school days.
  • Academies receive funding directly from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) rather than from local authorities and have greater freedom over how to use their budgets to best benefit students.
  • The principles of governance are the same in academies as in maintained schools, but the governing body has greater autonomy and therefore greater responsibility.
  • Academies are required to follow the law and guidance on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as if they were maintained schools.

For further information please contact Michael Mill, Director of Schools, Children and Young People at director.education@carlislediocese.org.uk or Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Officer, on 07984 927434 or at carlisledco@gmail.com.