Last reviewed 11 October 2021

The Department for Education (DfE) is considering providing motor vehicle cover to academy trusts and local authority-maintained schools through the risk protection arrangement (RPA) as an alternative to commercial insurance.

It has launched a consultation into these proposals with full details available at education.gov.uk.

The deadline for submitting comments is 30 November 2021.

The RPA was introduced to help reduce the cost to the public purse of protecting academies against risk and is now available to all state-funded schools on a voluntary, opt-in basis. It is funded by the schools that join as members paying a standard price per pupil per membership year.

In 2014 the average annual cost of commercial insurance for academies was £57.67 per pupil. When the RPA was launched, its cost per pupil was £25. The cost for the 2020/21 membership year is £19.

As of 3 August 2021, 8504 schools had joined (38.54% of all eligible schools in England).

The RPA provides cover for most risks that schools face, but members currently have to obtain motor cover elsewhere, because third party motor insurance is a legal requirement under the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA) and the RPA cover is not insurance.

There is, the DfE notes, strong evidence from surveys of RPA members that motor cover is the additional benefit that they would most like to see the arrangement provide for them.

Subject to required legislation being passed by Parliament, it is anticipated that a pilot could be put in place to provide motor cover to RPA members by Autumn 2023.