Sixth Form College Academy Conversion

Tuesday 8th March 2016

Following the Chancellor’s announcement in the government’s autumn statement that Sixth Form Colleges (‘SFC’s) can become academies, the Department for Education has now published guidance for SFC’s on the conversion process. The guidance sets out the criteria and process for making an application along with practical information for SFC’s to help determine whether becoming a 16-19 academy is the right choice.

All SFC’s in England will have the opportunity to apply for conversion as part of the governments planned ‘area review’ of post 16 education institutions, due to commence in September. Each review will start with an assessment of the economic and educational needs of an area and the current structures of further education corporations and SFC’s. Reviews will be led by steering groups consisting of chairs of governors, local education partnership’s, local authorities, further education and sixth form college commissioners and regional school commissioners. The approach aims to move towards fewer, larger more resilient and efficient providers and more effective collaboration across institution types.

The government will make funding available for SFC academisation via a ‘restructuring fund.’ The amount of funding available is currently unknown but it is thought that SFC’s will be able to apply for funding to cover a proportion of the total conversion costs identified. The fund will be available from April 2016 to April 2019.

Further details can be found by using the following links:

Click here to read DfE guidance for SFC’s on becoming an academy.

Click the links below to read the governments area reviews:


If you would like to discuss academy conversions in further detail, please contact Jessica Cumming on 0113 2272118 or by email at