An academy is a school that operates independently of the Local Authority, providing free education to pupils of all abilities, supported by sponsors from education, business, faith or voluntary groups. Academies do not have to follow the national curriculum and can set their own term times, but they are still required to follow legislation in relation to admissions, special educational needs and exclusions.
Sponsors are responsible for improving the performance of their schools and employs the academy staff.
Sponsors and the DfE provide the capital costs for the Academy. Running costs are met in full by the DfE, the same as in a Local Authority school.
Further information on academies can be found here.