Diocese of Portsmouth

School Buildings

2021 Diocesan Boards of Education Measure

All church schools are bound by the 2021 measure which provides the statutory framework for church schools. For this reason all church schools must seek advice from their Diocesan Board of Education on a variety of matters including building works.

The 2021 version of the DBE measure is available here

Diocesan schools currently fall into three categories: Academies, Voluntary Controlled and Voluntary Aided Schools. These have very distinct differences relating to their buildings but one commonality in regard to the land and buildings. The land and buildings are owned by the diocese, generally under ancient trust deeds that have as the original Trustees, the Vicar and Church Wardens (although for many this is now the Diocesan Boards of Finance). There are some variations, however it is helpful to generalise at the same time as recognising the need to fully investigate the individual sites when required.

The Dioceses’ role is to assist schools in safeguarding their assets; both the value of the buildings and land. Consequently, any alterations, extensions, expansions, and changes to the building generally require the permission of the Diocese. The Diocese assists Voluntary Aided Schools in particular, in advising on building development and capital asset planning.

Academies: Land and buildings are held by Diocese and playing fields retained by the Local Authority (LA) on a 125 year Lease.

Voluntary Controlled: Land and buildings held by Diocese and playing fields by the LA. In 1944, VC Schools came under the LA and therefore the LA is responsible for maintenance of the buildings.

Voluntary Aided: Land and buildings held by Diocese and playing fields by the LA. They remain as voluntary aided and funded schools supported by their local parish and are more independently funded. This gives the school access to different capital funding streams but also liabilities and obligations, primarily the requirement to pay governors 10% on all capital funded projects including Devolved Formula Capital and School Condition Allocations, SCA (previously, LCVAP). They also, unlike LA, are required to pay VAT.

For any general enquiries about church schools buildings, please contact one of our team: schoolbuildings@portsmouth.anglican.org

School Buildings Officer:

Susan Hine: 023 9289 9688  (Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 2:30pm)