What are Academies?

Academies are publicly funded independent schools. They have greater freedom over the education they offer to their pupils as they don’t have to offer the national curriculum. They can also change their school term dates and school opening times.  This means they can adapt how the school is run to meet the needs of the pupils and parents in their community.

Academies still have to follow the same rules on admissionsspecial educational needs and exclusions as other state schools. They are still assessed against the same government floor standards and inspected by Ofsted.

Academies are also funded differently to other schools as they get money direct from the government, not the local council. They are run by an academy trust which employs the staff. Academies receive the same level of per-pupil funding as they would get from a Local Authority but they have more freedom as to how they spend their funding as they no longer have to buy services in from the Local Authority. Sometimes this means there is more resources available for teaching and learning.

Some academies which have historically had low results or issues around performance have sponsors, also known as Trusts. These can be businesses, universities, other stronger schools, or in the case of BDAT, the Diocese. Sponsors are responsible for improving the performance of their schools. All staff in the academies are employed by the Trust and the Trust is ultimately accountable for performance in all their academies to the Secretary of State through a funding agreement.

Since 2010, the Department for Education (DfE) introduced a presumption that any school falling into an Ofsted category or persistently failing to meet floor standards for attainment and levels of progress would be expected to move to academy status with a sponsor. For church schools falling into this Ofsted category in the Diocese of Leeds , an agreement is in place that assumes the school will be sponsored by one of the Diocese’ Multi Academy Trusts. To date any school in Bradford in this situation has been sponsored by BDAT.

BDAT currently is formed of both sponsored academies and schools which have chosen to convert to academy as strong schools, and schools which we have grown from new.  Every school in our Trust is unique, but together we share the same values and ethos making us a true family of schools.


See our latest tweets

We are delighted to announce @BVGAcademy have successfully applied to be part of @UCL_Holocaust #BeaconSchool1920 programme. This is an exciting and important opportunity – watch this space for news… https://t.co/K597TuyYWa

Just over a week to go until our staff compete in the annual @DragonBoatsBrad race! Support on the 22nd of June is welcome and any donations would be hugely appreciated for @SRManorlands and @BDNightstop. The link for our page is https://t.co/0FrStvpv0x #weareBDAT 🚣‍♂️

Our Yr5 pupils have taken part in the Schools Yorkshire Tour this morning https://t.co/xZFhDHw5Xp Well done to all and Miss Parkinson

2