Religious sixth form colleges to academise from 2023

Regulations are expected to come into force this autumn

Regulations are expected to come into force this autumn

Sixth form colleges with a religious character will be able to apply to become academies by the end of the year, the Department for Education has said.

Nearly all sixth form colleges (SFCs) have been able to convert to academy status, and in doing so enjoy the luxury of not paying VAT, since former chancellor George Osborne changed the rules in November 2015.

But a group of 13 SFCs which are Catholic-run have been prevented from doing so due to their religious character, which would not be maintained under government rules. If they converted, they would lose protections in areas of curriculum, acts of worship and governance.

The DfE finally found a solution to safeguard religious character through the Skills and Post-16 Education Act 2022, which became law in April.

However, the regulations to enable SFCs with a religious character to convert to academy status are yet to come into force.

After updating its guidance for SFCs considering becoming a 16 to 19 academy to include those with religious character this week, the Department for Education told FE Week that they expect those regulations to come into force by the end of 2022, at which point applications can be submitted.

James Kewin, deputy chief executive, said: “We are delighted that Catholic sixth form colleges will soon be able to academise.”

He told FE Week that 29 SFCs have converted since 2017 and are “flourishing as 16 to 19 academies”, so it is only “right that Catholic colleges now have the opportunity to join them”.

Kewin added that “many” of the 13 SFCs with religious character have been exploring conversion ahead of the formal announcement and his association expects that at least three or four will begin the application process in 2023.

Latest education roles from

Tutorial Learning Mentor

Tutorial Learning Mentor

Barnsley College

Casual Teacher – Hospitality

Casual Teacher – Hospitality

Gateshead College

Casual Teacher – ESOL

Casual Teacher – ESOL

Gateshead College

Executive Director of Learner Services

Executive Director of Learner Services

Hull College

Casual Teacher – Early Years

Casual Teacher – Early Years

Gateshead College

Apprentice Development Leader

Apprentice Development Leader

GP Strategies

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

How can we prepare learners for their future in an ever-changing world?

By focusing their curriculums on transferable skills, digital skills, and sustainability, colleges and schools can be confident that learners...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Why we’re backing our UK skills ‘Olympians’ (and why you should too)

This August, teams from over 200 nations will gather to compete in the sticky heat of the Paris summer...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Is your organisation prepared for a major incident?

We live in an unpredictable world where an unforeseen incident or environmental event could disrupt a Further Education (FE)...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

A new chapter in education protection!

Gallagher is a specialist in the Further Education sector, working with over 75% of Further Education colleges in the...

Advertorial

More from this theme

Colleges, safeguarding

Prevent referrals made in FE at record high

Rising Prevent referrals and data sharing case studies lead calls of deradicalisation programme to be scrapped

Anviksha Patel
Colleges, Election 2024

LSIPs: Colleges call for long-term funding and shared accountability

AoC reviews the flagship policy one year on from the national rollout

Anviksha Patel
Colleges

Weapons and drug use on the rise in colleges, staff warn

Support staff demand more training and stricter punishments for rule breaking students

Anviksha Patel
Colleges, Election 2024

IFS: Colleges face £400m funding shortfall for rising 16-18s

Growing student numbers mean colleges will need £400 million just to maintain per-student funding levels

Shane Chowen

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *