What is it?
A 'hard federation' is a formal arrangement where 2 or more maintained schools share a single governing board.
This is different from a 'soft federation', where 2 or more maintained schools formally collaborate (such as through joint committees and joint board meetings) but don't form 1 governing board.
This is outlined in part 2 of The School Governance (Federations) (England) Regulations 2012, section 24 of the Education Act 2002, and on page 66 of the Governance Handbook.
Each federated school is still treated as an individual school
Keeps its existing Department for Education (DfE) category and doesn't gain, lose, or change its religious character through being part of a federation Continues to have its admissions determined by the appropriate admissions authority Receives individual budgets (but, the local authority (LA) can allocate this as a single budget to the federated governing board, who can decide to pool funds) Is inspected individually by Ofsted Can still