Academy conversion: step-by-step process

Be clear on the academy conversion process, including information on preparing to convert, submitting the application form, and setting up an academy trust. Use our checklist to keep track of the tasks you need to complete.

Last reviewed on 27 November 2023
School types: MaintainedSchool phases: AllRef: 1147
  1. Download our checklist 
  2. Step 1: before you apply
  3. Step 2: apply to convert
  4. Step 3: set up or join an academy trust
  5. Step 4: transfer responsibilities to the academy trust 
  6. Step 5: prepare to open as an academy 
  7. Step 6: open as an academy
  8. Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

This article is based on the DfE's guide to academy conversion.

Download our checklist 

Download our checklist for the conversion process so you've got all of the steps you need to follow at your fingertips, and you can tick them off as you go:

KeyDoc: academy conversion checklist DOC, 258.0 KB

The rest of this article details what we've included in the checklist – so we'd suggest reading the article before using the checklist. Plus, there are some FAQs at the end.

Register your interest Once you've filled in and submitted the form, you'll be given the name of your DfE project lead Read the Academy Trust Handbook Read the good practice guidance for academy trusts Consider the different types of academy (see the sub-section on this directly below) Get consent (see the sub-section on this below) Prepare for your application Initiate informal discussion with staff, parents and pupils Tell your DfE project lead about any private finance initiative (PFI) contracts your school has Seek

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