The simplest academy arrangement is for a single school or college to operate on its own, with no outside involvement.

However, in many cases it is necessary or desirable to operate in conjunction with other schools, colleges or entities. This may include:

  • Forming a multi-academy trust with other schools or colleges, or being part of an academy chain
  • Operating a subsidiary trading company
  • Working with an independent PTA (parent teacher association) or similar group
  • Working together with other schools or colleges in an informal partnership
  • Joining with other schools or colleges to form a cost sharing group for VAT purposes only
  • Creating a formal partnership, such as to deliver initial teacher training (ITT) in conjunction with a university

Each of these arrangements can result in a VAT registration that is separate from the academy itself. It is important to remember that a partnership is a separate entity for VAT purposes from the members and so has its own obligations regarding registration.

The VAT issues for these entities are explained for the various types of income and expenditure in our VAT Treatment pages.


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