As a teacher or member of staff at a school that is planning to convert to an Academy, you may feel uncertain and have some questions. In this article, we aim to answer the top five most commonly asked questions of the Education team at Michelmores.

How will becoming an academy affect us?

After conversion, all staff at the school will be employed by the Academy Trust. Staff are legally protected to transfer under the same employment terms and conditions, including pensions.

How are our contracts of employment protected?

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employees) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) is a piece of legislation designed to protect the rights of employees who may be subject to a change in the legal identity of their employer. These regulations set out that employee terms and conditions such as pay, pension and policies are protected at the point of transfer, and the Academy inherits all rights, liabilities and obligations in relation to them.

If our school becomes an Academy Trust, who takes responsibility for the pension arrangements of teachers?

The Academy Trust will have an agreement with the Secretary of State making it a requirement to offer participation in the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) to all teaching staff, just as if you were employed in a Local Authority maintained school. The TPS runs teachers pensions on behalf of the Department for Education. As your employer, the Academy Trust would be responsible for collecting and paying employer and employee contributions to the TPS and for all other administrative responsibilities set out in the Teachers’ Pensions Regulations.

Would the school have to change its name, logo or uniform?

There is no obligation for a school to change its name, logo or uniform. This is usually a decision for the school but if the school is joining an existing Multi Academy Trust (MAT), it is important to find out the MAT's plans for name changes, uniform changes etc.

What is the process to become an Academy?

A proposal will be put forward and voted for by the Governing Body before an application is sent to the Department of Education. An Academy Order is then issued by the Secretary of State allowing the school to convert. Before converting, a consultation with all those affected must be completed. This will include all parents, carers, pupils, staff and the wider community. This is separate from the staff TUPE consultation but staff will be consulted as a stakeholder.