The Academies Act 2010 states that consultation should certainly take place prior to the signing of the funding agreement, which is usually two to three weeks before the conversion date, however it is good practice to consult all key stakeholders earlier on, and on an ongoing basis.
We recommend that key stakeholders, including; parents, staff, students, other schools, the local authority and the local community should be consulted over a suggested six week period.
It is also recommended that a school holds at least two full governors meetings in the process.
The first meeting should be used to develop a series of action points and to identify who will take the lead in approving the draft documentation which will need to be sent to the DfE and local authority.
This initial meeting will generally be held once the Academy Order has been received.
The second meeting should be held around a month prior to the conversion date, when governors will make the final decision on the conversion to academy status.
Under TUPE regulations (see point 13), the current employer also has to inform recognised trade unions that a transfer is due to take place, when this is likely to happen and the reasons for the change. There is no legal obligation to inform employees directly, however the Academies Act 2010 suggests staff should be consulted on whether the school should convert to an Academy. Most schools will strive to make sure staff feel involved in the conversion process.
If you are converting as a MAT then a board meeting containing representatives from each school will be required in order to establish how the Academy trust should be run once established.