14 February 2020
From September to November last year, the Department for Education (DfE) invited views on extending the self-insure arrangement currently operational for academy trusts (ATs) to the local authority maintained school (LAMS) sector.
It suggested that the sector could thereby benefit from financial savings such as ATs have attained through membership of the risk protection arrangement (RPA).
As well as local authorities and governing bodies of LA maintained schools in England, comments were invited from church and other foundation and trust bodies, ATs and the insurance industry.
Details of the 148 replies received by the DfE, together with the Government’s response, can be found on the GOV.uk website.
This report notes that 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 and, in the light of claims experience to date, it has been able to reduce its cost to £18 per pupil in 2019/20.
The Department accordingly proposes to extend the RPA currently operational for academies to the LAMS sector with effect from 1 April 2020. A new set of Membership Rules would be created for LAMS.
As in the academy arrangement, it is proposed that the cost for special schools and alternative provision (pupil referral units) should be expressed per place rather than per pupil.
The DfE notes that this Government response is being published ahead of the Schools and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations for the funding period 2020-21 being made.