Information & Guidance
Non-Church Schools Joining Church MATs
A Statement for Non-Church Schools exploring the option of joining a majority church multi-academy trust (MAT) in the Diocese of Lincoln.
It is the Lincoln Diocesan Board of Education (LDBE) policy that church schools wishing to join a MAT can only join a MAT where the majority of the Members are appointed by the diocese.
To support collaborative working arrangements between church schools and non-church schools, the majority church MATs are formed in a way that enables non-church schools to join them as well.
If non-church schools entered a majority church MAT, the character of the school would be protected. The non-church schools are not converted to church schools. They maintain their unique character to serve the community in which they are located.
Within the context of the diocesan vision for education, non-church schools within a majority church MAT will continue to:
- Develop their distinct vision and values to enable all pupils and adults in their school community to flourish.
- Ensure the quality of education meet the needs of all learners and provides them with the knowledge, skills and rich learning experiences they need to thrive in the wider world.
- Ensure that daily collective worship is led in accordance to the 1988 Education Reform Act and the Department for Education Circular 1/94. That is collective worship in maintained schools and academies of no religious designation must be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character. It should be inclusive, invitational and inspiring.
- Ensure that Religious Education will continue to be taught in accordance to the Locally Agreed Syllabus. The law states that all maintained schools must provide religious education for all registered pupils, and promote their spiritual, moral and cultural developments.
- Parents will continue to have the right to withdraw their children from both RE and collective worship.
Non-church schools in a majority church MAT will not:
- Be subject to the SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) inspection.
- Be expected to develop a school vision grounded in a clear theology firmly rooted in a Christian narrative.
- Be expected to promote and embed values from a distinctively Christian perspective.
- Be required to appoint foundation governors on the Local Board.
- Be expected to join the Diocesan Service Level Agreement (although this is an option).
The majority church MATs therefore provide an opportunity for church schools and non-church schools to maintain their partnerships, preserve their character and identity and secure a sustainable future within a multi-academy trust.
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