Academy Schools are state funded schools in England that are independent of local government control in England. The majority are secondary schools, for pupils ages 11 to 16 but academies can include children from nursery age upwards. All have a curriculum specialism within the English Specialist Schools Programme (SSP). The SSP was a government initiative which encouraged secondary schools to specialise in certain areas of the curriculum to improve performance.
Academies are self-governing and most are established as registered charities or operated by other educational charities, and may receive additional support from personal or corporate sponsors, either financially or in kind. They must meet the same National Curriculum core subject requirements as other state schools and are subject to inspection by Ofsted.