Since September 2014 academies have been able to opt-in to the Department for Education’s (DfE) Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) as an alternative to commercial insurance. The project was introduced to reduce the cost of protecting academies against risk as the average cost of commercial insurance to academies at the time was £49.93 per pupil. The RPA launched at a cost of £25 per pupil and has since been able to reduce this to £18 per pupil in 2019/20.
The DfE carried out a public consultation ending in November 2019 to extend the academies RPA to Local Authority maintained schools in England. The RPA was made available to maintained schools from April 2020.
The RPA is not an insurance scheme but is a system through which the cost of risks will be covered by government funds. It is a voluntary arrangement currently available to all academies and multi-academy trusts (MATs), including free schools, 16-19 academies, schools designated with a religious character that are academies, special academies, alternative provision academies, UTCs, studio and PFI schools. Since it was launched in September 2014, over 6,100 academies have joined. The DfE administer the arrangement, supported by external advisors and third-party suppliers who provide services including claims handling and risk management.
As of 01 April 2020 the RPA is now available for Local Authorities (LA) and their schools to join. The DfE except this to reduce the cost burden of risk protection in the sector and extend the offering of risk protection cover. However, if schools are happy that their current arrangements provide good value for money, there is no obligation to opt-in to the RPA.
Schools also have the option to join collectively through their LA by agreeing to de-delegate funding via agreement at Schools Forum.
For further information click here to read the DFE consultation response.