Last reviewed on 25 November 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
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Find out what a hard federation between maintained schools is and be clear about the process you need to follow to form one. If you're federating, publish your proposals using our report template.

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 establish joint committees but don't form 1 governing board.

This is outlined in part 2 of The School Governance (Federations) (England) Regulations 2012section 24 of the Education Act 2002, and on page 66 of the Governance Handbook.

Process for becoming a federation

The process below is outlined in part 2 and regulations 7 and 10 of the School Governance (Federations) (England) Regulations 2012. It also references the Department for Education's (DfE's) statutory guidance.

1. Your board must consider a report on the proposal

The board needs to hold a meeting to talk about its proposal to federate. The consideration of a report must be a specified agenda item for this meeting.

You must