In considering a proposal from a school or group of schools to convert and join the Diocese of St Albans Multi-Academy Trust (DSAMAT), the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) will expect that the following process to be followed:
(i) Informal Consultation
A meeting should be arranged with DBE and DSAMAT officers. The purpose of this meeting would be to explore the viability of a school joining the Trust, to provide support and advice to governors, and to identify any potential problems. This meeting would be strictly confidential and would not commit a school or group of schools to a course of action. Subsequent meetings could be held if required.
(ii) Local approval
The school’s governing body would be expected to consult with its stakeholders about joining DSAMAT and following this consultation to pass a resolution proposing that the school join the Trust.
(iii) Formal proposal submitted to the Board of the Trust
Once the governing body has met and passed a resolution to join DSAMAT a formal proposal should be submitted to the Diocese of St Albans Board of Education for its consideration. This should include details about the school, the perceived benefits of joining DSAMAT, the potential impact on local children and the outcome of any local consultation. If the Diocesan Board of Education considers that the proposal to consult is sound and that the school is financially viable for the next three years the Board will grant its permission to convert.
Governing body members will then be invited to meet DSAMAT Directors prior to a decision being made by the Trust. Any acceptance by the Board of Directors to admit a school to the Trust would be subject to a comprehensive due diligence process.
Due diligence involves a comprehensive analysis of the school’s strengths and areas for development and will be undertaken in the following areas: HR; legal; financial; land, buildings and trusts; and governance and school effectiveness (including effectiveness as a church school). This is funded from the Academy conversion grant. After consideration of the due diligence outcome the Trust’s Board of Directors will approve the school’s application if it considers the proposal to be sound and that it will uphold the historic trust deeds of the schools concerned, meet the core principles of the Trust and is, in the Board’s view, in the best interests of local children.
It is anticipated that it will take between 9 and 12 months.