A Brighter Future

Joining the Boleyn Trust
Expressing an Interest

Any school that is interested in exploring the possibility of joining the Boleyn Trust should contact tom.canning@boleyntrust.org.

A member of the team will then be happy to speak to your governing body about what joining the Boleyn Trust would mean and how the Trust operates. The Board of Trustees will be informed of any schools that have expressed an interest. Following a meeting with Tom Canning OBE with your governing body and confirmation that the governing body would like to proceed to join the Boleyn Trust, your school will need to confirm your decision to us and then complete the online registration of interest form on the DfE website.

Six steps to conversion are outlined on the DfE website; the registration of interest is part of step 1. Once you have registered an interest with the DfE they will get in touch with you and give you the name of your DfE project lead. Your DfE project lead will work with you throughout the conversion process and answer any questions you may have. Once your application is accepted, key dates throughout the process are outlined on the DfE’s Academy conversion: important dates page.

Full details of the process can be found in our joining handbook below.

Considerations for the Boleyn Trust before supporting a school’s application to convert

A key consideration for the Trustees is to weigh up the long term needs and viability of the school and whether it will be best served by becoming an academy. They will also need to consider whether the Boleyn Trust has the resources and capacity to support the school effectively at that particular time. We will therefore carry out due diligence on the current performance of the school, whichever route they may be taking.

The due diligence is intended to be a fully collaborative process and not an inspection. Members of the Boleyn Trust Executive Team will work with members of the school’s leadership team to review key areas of the school’s work and to come to an agreed set of evaluations.

The process will vary according to circumstances but could include a visit to the school of up to two days, working with the headteacher, finance officer and governor representatives to establish levels of achievement, quality of provision and staffing, financial overview and the capacity of the leadership team to secure improvement. In advance of the school visit, Boleyn representatives will review any relevant evidence which can be made available. This may include the school’s website, school’s self-evaluation, improvement plan, and performance data.

During the visit, Boleyn representatives will work with school leaders to gather evidence at first hand and may therefore engage in any of a range of agreed activities such as lesson visits, walk of the site, discussion with pupils, scrutiny of work, and review of financial statements. They will reflect, with key personnel, on the observations made and arrive at an agreed evaluation in each of the key areas identified on the summary form.

The outcomes of the audit will be put together in a summary overview to be presented to Trustees and the governing body for consideration before approval to proceed with the application for conversion. This information is therefore intended to provide information to all parties in order to inform decision-making and ongoing improvement planning. It is the intention of the Boleyn Trust that all schools will be able to join the Trust but in some circumstances, plans and agreements will need to be put in place before formally joining.

The Boleyn Trust will carry out detailed financial due diligence.


Founding Principles

The Boleyn Trust has a long history of school to school support and this has been further developed through our Teaching School Alliance. As our family grows the Trust is always looking to developing strong and productive partnerships with new schools and settings.

Our current plans to grow the Trust are focused on finding good or outstanding schools with similar values and principles to join us as strong partners.  We believe that schools joining in this way will reap many benefits from collaboration and will also enhance the capacity of the Trust.  This would not be a loss of control or status for heads or governors, but in fact an opportunity to take control at a critical time of change in the wider organisation of schools.

A Handbook for those looking to Join the Boleyn Trust

Founding Principles of the Boleyn Trust