In the application form to the Regional Schools Commissioner, Church Schools are asked to evidence they have consent of their relevant Diocese.
The Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education is the Diocesan Authority with the responsibility for considering school requests to change to academy status. The Board’s duty is to promote education which is consistent with the principles and practice of the Church of England. It can be viewed as the guardian of the religious character of Church schools and it must ensure, as best it can, the continuance of that religious character through all changes to the educational system. In regard to academy conversions, the Board has required use of a suite of documents designed to protect the religious character of schools and representation in the governance of the Trust so that it appoints at Member, Director/Trustee and Local Governing Body levels which is consistent with the governance arrangement of the converting school.
The Board now acknowledges that where Church Schools make up a minority in the Trust the duty on Trustees to maintain the religious character of the Church schools may not always be given the necessary attention. It further acknowledges that where Church schools are in the majority, the Trust is more likely to attend to its duty to protect the religious character of those schools.
In consideration of this the Board has resolve that it will no longer allow schools to convert into Trusts which do not already have Lichfield Church of England Schools within them. Further, it requires schools which have Church majority governance (VA schools) to join only Church majority Trusts.