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Newman Catholic College

NewmanCatholic College

A UNICEF Rights Respecting School

Academisation Consultation

Thank you for visiting our webpage on our academisation consultation. This consultation opened on 27th February 2024, and will end on 27th March 2024. 

The documentation available here is aimed to answer some of the common questions you may have regarding the process of a school becoming a part of the All Saints Academy Trust. Documents available here include the consultation letters that have been sent out to parents and staff and the frequently asked questions document (which can be translated on this website). Please complete the questionnaire via the link below (paper copies are available from reception):


Refer to the website for translation. 

Section 1: Academy Information

Which Schools are proposing to join the Catholic Academy Trust (CAT)?

Newman Catholic College and St Mary’s Catholic Primary School are proposing to join the All Saints’ Trust. The All Saints’ Trust was opened in 2016 and currently consists of St Gregory’s Catholic Science College, St Bernadette’s Catholic Nursery & Primary School, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Infant School, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Junior School and St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School.

Newman Catholic College and St Mary’s Catholic Primary School have received the consent of the Diocese of Westminster to convert and have applied to the Regional Director (RD) to convert to an academy. The Diocese of Westminster expects all Schools in the Diocese’s 11 Families (across 17 London Borough and 2 Counties) to join a designated CAT to protect, secure and develop Catholic Education for the future. 
All Catholic schools in the London Borough of Brent are asked to join the All Saints’ Trust.
Why is Newman Catholic College proposing to join the All Saints’ Trust?
The Governors have been actively considering joining a CAT with our partner schools in Brent and have investigated it thoroughly.  We believe that joining a CAT is now in the best interest of our school. Some of the reasons for this include:


  • This is the wish of the Cardinal Vincent Nichols, and part of the Diocese of Westminster's wider CAT strategy to protect all Catholic schools in the Diocese.
  • The Headteacher and Governors believe joining a CAT will allow the school to secure strategic school to school support and development through sharing the very best of our leadership, management, teaching and learning, pastoral and spiritual development for the benefit of all schools in the CAT.
  • Catholic schools currently work as ‘islands’ and by coming together in solidarity we will be stronger, more robust and more resilient for the future.
  • Catholic education is facing many threats both nationally and across the Diocese, in terms of declining rolls and increased financial pressures for all public services.
  • With government borrowing already at unprecedented levels, prospects for an increase in school funding in the short to medium terms are extremely low.
  • We face a growing need to protect, secure, and develop the Church’s mission in Catholic education, working together to grow our resilience and overcome other future threats.
  • Behind the scenes, very little will change for pupils, staff and parents.  The changes will bring in closer working practices to Governance and back office functions.


How will pupils at Newman Catholic College benefit from being part of the All Saints’ Trust?
The aim of the Diocese’s CAT Strategy is to protect, secure and develop the Church’s mission in education. Prospective children in schools in CATs will benefit in a number of ways, including;

  • Enhanced collaboration and partnership across the schools
  • Increased savings and efficiencies at a time of growing financial pressures
  • Improved teaching, learning, pastoral and spiritual development for each child through increased collaboration, challenge and support
  • Increased CPD opportunities and career pathways for staff
  • Improved retention and development of the best Catholic teachers and Leaders
  • Clear, robust and effective Governance at Trust, CEO and Local Advisory Council levels
  • Secured Catholic education across the Diocese for generations to come.


Why is Newman Catholic College now proposing to become an Academy and join the All Saints’ Trust?
The Headteacher and Chair of Governors believe the time is right to move forward after careful consideration and a thoughtful journey.

In September 2017 the Diocese of Westminster published its strategy for Catholic Academy Trusts:

The Diocese’s Strategy sets out the reasons, benefits and structure of Catholic Academy Trusts. The Diocese is clearly minded to continue to increase the speed of its Academisation programme, and by choosing to join a Trust under our ‘own steam’, we are able to shape our own future. We also believe the time is right in terms of reductions in funding and support from local authorities.

What work has been done by governors to explore all options?
Governors have conducted a number of activities over several years to ensure we reach the best decision for our school. These include:

  • Discussions with other local schools to understand their strategy and journey.
  • Attendance at specific training and information sessions for Governors research on other CATs
  • Research on academisation based on information from a variety of sources.
  • Presentations and Q&A from various CATs on a number of different subjects
  • Presentation and discussion covering the pros and cons of all the options for the future of the school.
  • Due diligence processes with the Diocese of Westminster.


Will the CAT expand to include more schools over time?
Yes, the All Saints’ Trust will expand to embrace all Catholic schools in Brent who wish to become Academies under the Diocese of Westminster CAT programme. The Trust will also encompass Catholic Schools in Camden and Islington.

How will the Governance arrangements of the All Saints’ Trust work?

The Diocese of Westminster has nominated 5 Members who own the Memorandum and Articles and Association of the Trust, registered with Companies House. The Members include Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of the Diocese of Westminster, The Auxiliary Bishop with responsibility for education, the Chair of the Education Commission of the Diocese of Westminster, the Financial Secretary of the Diocese of Westminster and the Director of Education for the Diocese of Westminster.

The Members have appointed a Board of Foundation Directors with strategic oversight for the Trust and Schools.  The Foundation Directors are currently comprised of Governors associated with schools who wish to serve on the Trust Board. Each School will retain a Local Governing Body which, with the Headteacher, will be responsible for the day to day running of the school. The Local Governing Body will have powers delegated from the CAT Board of Directors under an agreed Scheme of Delegation and are accountable to the Board.

Will the School retain its individual ethos?
Yes, the Diocese is very clear that the individual name, ethos, character and good practices of each school are retained and that all the schools operate as equals supporting each other. Each school is seen as central to its own community with the skills of each being used in a supportive way for all the others.  Every school gives and receives support from one another.


What is an Academy?
Academies are publicly funded independent schools that are not managed by a local authority, but their funding and accountability is directly with the Department for Education (DfE).

When will Newman Catholic College become an Academy?
We expect that the process will take approximately 8 months, work is underway and the planned conversion date is 1st September 2024.

Why is there a consultation?
The Academies Act 2010 requires the school to consult “such persons as they think appropriate” on whether the school should become an academy. The Governing Body of Newman Catholic College is consulting with all key stakeholders about the proposed academy conversion including parents, staff, pupils and other schools over a 4-week period commencing Tuesday 27th February to Wednesday 27th March.

Does the school need agreement from the Local Authority to become an Academy?
No. The Academies Act 2010 has removed the need for the Local Authority to approve plans for the school to become an Academy.


What form of relationship will exist between the Local Authority and the school?
This is for individual Academies or Catholic Academy Trusts to determine – there is no statutory requirement for any formal relationship between Local Authorities and Academies. Academies are directly funded and accountable to the central government (Department for Education and the Education Skills Funding Agency).

The Local Authority retains statutory duties for aspects of Special Educational Needs, admissions co-ordination and provision of home-to-school transport. Local Authorities are also expected to play a key strategic role locally in areas such as pupil place planning admissions and sharing good practice. The schools have good relationships with the London Borough of Brent and will seek to maintain and cultivate this in the future.


Are Academies subject to the same Ofsted inspection regime?

Schools converting to Academies will continue to be inspected by Ofsted and the CSI in the same way they are now.

What is the process for Newman Catholic College to join the All Saints’ Trust?
The conversion process includes the following key legal processes:

  • Agreeing the Memorandum and Articles of Association to establish the Company and register it at Companies House.
  • Putting in place a Master Funding agreement and separate Supplementary Funding Agreements (SFA) for each School.
  • Transferring the employment of the staff from the Governing bodies to the All Saints’ Trust following a statutory process (TUPE*).
  • Agreeing a Commercial Transfer Agreement for the transfer of assets and contracts from the local authority to All Saints’ Trust.
  • Arranging a 125-year lease for the land and buildings with the Diocese and/or local authority.
  • Establishing finance systems and operations procedures across the schools.

(*TUPE = Transfer of Undertaking – Protection of Employment)

Section 2: Staff Issues
Does the school have to hold a TUPE consultation with staff?
Under employment legislation the Governing Body which is the current employer will need to conduct a TUPE consultation with all staff (both teaching and non-teaching) and the relevant unions as part of the staff transfer process.

Can staff pay and conditions change?
No. Whilst Academy Trusts do have the freedom to vary terms and conditions from national ones, the Diocese of Westminster Strategy binds its Catholic Trust to abiding by teachers’ and support staff pay and conditions.

If the school becomes an Academy, who takes responsibility for the pension arrangements?
Teachers working in an academy fall within the scope of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS), just as if they were employed in a Local Authority maintained school. Non-teaching staff at schools are able to join the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). This is administered by the London Borough of Brent as at present. Employees will pay the same rate as at present under both schemes, subject to any nationally imposed changes.

How will the TUPE process work and what specific responsibilities does the Governing Body have?
As the current employer, the Governing Body is responsible for informing and consulting with staff.
The Governing Body is responsible for informing the All Saints’ Trust, as the new employer, of any ‘measures’ which will impact on their employment. There are none planned in this case and the All Saints’ Trust will write to each member of staff confirming that they will transfer under existing terms and conditions.

Section 3: Finance

Will we get more money as an Academy?

Academies receive the same amount of per-pupil funding as they would receive from the Local Authority as a maintained school. There are other financial advantages, for example VAT is recoverable on normal business activities and capital works. The Government is clear that becoming an Academy should not bring about a financial advantage or disadvantage to a school. However, academies do have greater freedom to decide how they use their entire budget, and Multi Academy Trusts are able to identify efficiency savings from enhanced partnership working.

Section 4: Admissions
Will becoming an Academy affect our admissions arrangements?
When a school becomes an Academy it also becomes an admission authority responsible for its own admission arrangements. As the school is joining a Multi Academy Trust – All Saints’ Trust will become the admissions authority. Schools will continue to make decisions about their admissions arrangements at school level. In the same way as maintained schools, all academies and their schools are required to adopt clear and fair admission arrangements in line with the admissions law and the School Admissions Code.


Will Academies have to be a part of the annual coordinated admissions scheme? E.g. when the LA needs to find places for families relocating to the area etc.
Yes - Academy Funding Agreements require them to be in local coordination. That means although the academy will apply its own admission arrangements, the LA will send out offers of places. The Local Authority also coordinates admissions for in-year applications and applications for year groups other than the normal point(s) of entry. This will not affect the Academy’s right to determine which applicants have priority for admission. Academies are also required through their Funding Agreements to participate in local fair access protocols which help to ensure that no child is without a school place.

Will the Academies decide to bring in academic selection?
No, there will be no introduction of selection. Schools which already select some or all of their pupils may continue to do so when they become Academies, but schools becoming Academies cannot decide to become new selective schools.

Section 5: Special Education Needs

Will our responsibilities in relation to Special Educational Needs and exclusions change?
No. Responsibilities as an Academy in relation to Special Educational Needs and exclusions will be just the same as they are now as a maintained school.

Can a child with a statement of Special Educational Needs nominate an academy as their school of choice?
Yes. These arrangements and related processes must at all times comply with the School Admissions Code, and responsibilities as an Academy in relation to Special Educational Needs will be just the same as they are now as a maintained school.

Does becoming an Academy change the way in which exclusions are dealt with?
Academies are required by their Funding Agreement to follow the law and guidance on exclusions as if they were maintained schools. This includes reporting exclusions to the Local Authority. However, Academies do not have to consult the Local Authority before deciding to exclude a pupil and they can arrange their own independent appeals panel.
Section 6: Further Information

How do I find out more about the proposals?
The Headteacher and Chair of Governors will host a consultation meeting for parents at 5:30pm on the 13th March.

A separate meeting is being held for staff.
Please complete and return the questionnaire via the link below:

Paul O’Shea
Chair of Governors
Newman Catholic College
27th February 2024