Becoming an Academy

Benefits and next steps

The benefits of becoming an academy with the University of Chichester Academy Trust:

  • Our academies are all unique
    We implement tailor-made and flexible solutions based on school needs
  • We are partners in School Improvement
    Building on the University’s established experience with 800 local partner schools
  • We extend the creative curriculum for pupils
    Our academies can access specialist University departments for exciting, relevant learning
  • We value and develop our academy staff
    Providing a rich offer of professional learning through the University of Chichester
  • We support our academies with professional core services
    So that schools can focus on the teaching and learning of pupils
  • Our heritage is education; our roots are local
    We have over 150 years of local schools involvement through our University links

What academies say:

"It was important to join a Trust family with a shared ethos and values, as well as to retain our own identity”

“We were able to share resources with other schools and get a better and cheaper service from our IT supplier”

“We can create a curriculum that best suits our pupils and the needs of our community”

“The catering needed to be more imaginative. Now I can do something about it”

“The chance for joint staff development with site and office staff in other schools is really helpful”

“Having high quality professional services support available is reassuring”

“Academy conversion has empowered us to take calculated risks”

“I have never felt better supported as a head than since I have joined the Academy Trust. I don’t ever feel alone”

“ I am proud to be part of a group of like-minded individuals all seeking to make a difference to the lives of children and to our communities”

Next steps

If your school would like to explore academy conversion and what it would mean for your pupils, please contact us for an initial discussion.

Sue Samson, Chief Executive Officer
Email: unicat@chi.ac.uk or
Telephone: 01243 793500

We will be pleased to come and meet you and your school governing body to explain what the University of Chichester Academy Trust offers as an academy sponsor.

If you choose to apply to join us, we begin our Due Diligence process at an early stage.

After an initial assessment of your application, it may then be appropriate for us to support your own discussions with parents and other stakeholders. We can provide handouts for staff and governors; information for your website; and a presence at school meetings. Some of this process may take place after we are confirmed as your academy sponsor by the Secretary of State for Education.

We understand that it’s vital for schools to keep their focus on the teaching and learning of pupils whilst becoming a member of our Trust and we work closely with local school teams to prepare for the transition. Our clear, staged process includes:

  • Due diligence and gathering of management information
  • TUPE
  • Negotiations and handover with existing providers
  • Finance and IT systems
  • Estate management
  • Risk management

In an academy’s early days, we ensure continuity and reduce the number of changes happening at once by leaving as many ‘back office’ services with existing suppliers as possible.

Our academies are supported in core areas including payroll, insurance and key financial processes such as accounting and audit. Other services such as buildings and infrastructure and human resources support are provided on a case-by-case basis.

We ensure that all of our solutions and services are appropriate to the needs of the academy; have a proven track record; and are implemented at a comfortable pace.