There has been a lot of chat recently about academies and ‘free schools’ and whether a school’s transition to the status will affect childcare voucher provision. There’s no reason childcare voucher provision should stop, but it will mean a slight change for the school. Academies and ‘free schools’ are essentially the same, and simply put, they are publicly-funded independent schools. It’s thought that this academic year a further 24 ‘free schools’ were opened and there are now more than 1,000 in England.
‘Free schools’ are not run by the local authority and have the ability to set their own pay and conditions for staff, control the length of terms and school days and have some freedom around the delivery of the curriculum itself. They also have greater control over how they use budgets and innovate to best benefit their students.
They must also take on all responsibility for employee benefits packages from the local authority, including childcare vouchers.
Academies can operate a scheme in the same way as any other school, the only difference is that they will run and administer the schemes themselves. This means that interested academies, which are moving away from their local authority, will need to give us a call to register independently.
If you’re in any doubt about how these changes will affect you then visit our website and get in touch.