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Academies: Religion

Question for Department for Education

UIN 33102, tabled on 14 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to protect the secular ethos of (a) non-faith and (a) community-ethos academies entering into mixed-multi academy trusts.

Answered on

23 July 2021

Non-faith or community-ethos schools have different characteristics, particularly in relation to governance, compared to schools with a religious designation. Their secular character and ethos are protected regardless of which type of multi-academy trust they join.

The academy trust’s charitable object is to recognise and support a school’s individual ethos. This places an obligation on the trust and its board to ensure that a non-faith or community school’s character is safeguarded in a mixed multi-academy trust.

The supplemental funding agreement, a contract between my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and academy trusts, has recently been updated to include clauses to protect the local governance arrangements of a non-faith or community school joining a mixed multi-academy trust.