Lord Agnew, The Under Secretary of State for Education, has launched a consultation into the extension of the existing risk protection (insurance) arrangements used by academies into local authority (maintained) schools.

Lord Agnew writes (to Directors of Education):

The Department is considering extending the risk protection arrangement (RPA) currently operational for academy trusts (ATs) to the local authority maintained school (LAMS) sector in England, with the hope that sector can benefit from financial savings such as ATs have attained through membership of the RPA.

The RPA project was initiated in order to help reduce the cost to the public purse of protecting academies against risk. In 2014 the average cost of commercial insurance for academies was £49.93 per pupil. The RPA launched in September 2014 at a cost of £25 per pupil. The RPA has reduced its cost to £18 per pupil in 2019/20.

We are now looking at the potential to extend the RPA to LAMS in England with the hope of helping to reduce the cost of protecting them from risk. We launched a public consultation on 9 September 2019 to allow those with comments, views or concerns to express them. The Government will then make a decision on whether to extend the RPA to LAMS in England.

The consultation will be open for comments until 4 November and I would encourage you and your maintained schools to give your views on our proposal by completing the online survey at www.education.gov.uk/consultations. You may therefore wish to draw the consultation to the attention of your maintained schools.

We are particularly interested to learn more about how insurance operates in relation to your maintained schools to help us design a service that will be of help to you and maintained schools in your areas.

The CHTA urges all maintained schools to respond to this consultation which many academy trusts have found beneficial.  In a time where finances are tight this could well be an area where savings could be made and the consultation is the way to make your views known.

Jolyon Roberts