Changes to the Department for Education’s academy conversion grant

Leadership and MAT Development Team

April 16 2024
The Department for Education has introduced changes to the eligibility criteria for the £25,000 academy conversion grant. These changes will take effect from 1 September 2024 and may have a significant impact on your Trust’s growth plans. The full guidance can be found here.

Understanding the changes 

The academy conversion grant has previously been available to all those converting to academy status, regardless of the number of schools in an approved growth project. This grant will now only be eligible for schools that are approved to join a trust as a group of three or more.

These changes are being introduced to align with the Department’s strategy to encourage LA maintained schools to academise into, or form, strong trusts with a minimum number of academies. Growing trust’s will be required to demonstrate how they meet the DfE’s Trust Quality Descriptors during the application process.

Changes in grant eligibility will not apply to special schools, or those in alternative provision settings (PRUs). These schools will remain eligible for the grant as part of a single school conversion application.

Important dates for applications

To be eligible for the grant under the existing terms and conditions, schools must register their interest by 26 April 2024. The application for conversion must then be submitted by 7 June 2024. A regional director will then review the application, and approval will need to be granted by 1 September 2024 to allow you to receive your grant.

How we can support you

As a result of the changes, we expect there will be a high number of applications submitted to the Department before the revised terms and conditions take effect on 1 September.

If you're looking to submit a registration of interest or want to know how this new guidance will affect your current plans, we can provide specialist advice to help navigate the next stages.


Our MAT Development experts can work with you to provide bespoke advice for your academy conversion. If you would like to discuss the support EPM can provide in navigating the conversion process, please talk to us.

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