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Risk protection arrangement for academies: join and get support

How academies can join the risk protection arrangement (RPA) instead of commercial insurance, what it covers and where they can get free professional advice.

You can get the cover you need for your academy, pupils and staff, and save money by joining the risk protection arrangement, provided by industry professionals on behalf of the Department for Education.

Over 65% of academies have already joined.

How to join

All academies can join, including free schools and PFI academies. All you need is your:

Join the risk protection arrangement

You’ll be covered as soon as you complete the form. We’ll renew your membership every year, so there’s less admin for you.

If you’re converting to an academy or setting up a free school we’ll sign you up automatically, but you can opt out if you want.


£20 per pupil, per year


£20 per place, per year for special and alternative provision academies.

The cost will stay fixed at £20 until at least 31 August 2019. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) deducts this direct from your general annual grant.

What it covers

The arrangement covers the main things all academies need:

Type of risk Limit
Material damage Reinstatement value of the property
Business interruption £10 million any one loss
Employers liability Unlimited
Third party liability Unlimited
Governors’ liability £10 million any one loss and any one membership year
Professional indemnity Unlimited
Employee and third party dishonesty £500,000
Money Various, including cash on premises or in transit £5,000
Personal accident Death and capital benefits £100,000
United Kingdom travel Baggage and money £2,000 per person. Cancellation £1,000 per person
Overseas travel including winter sports Includes: baggage £2,000 in total per person (inner limits apply), money £750 per person, medical expenses £10,000,000, cancellation £4,000 per person. Check the membership rules for more.
Legal expenses £100,000 any one loss and any one membership year
Cultural assets £10,000 on any one cultural asset or £250,000 any one multiple loss

Full details of your cover

Check the membership rules for full details of your cover. See how it compares to your current cover and check if there is anything else you need.

Additional cover

If there’s something you need cover for that’s not included in RPA you can get it from Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC). They also offer a legal services helpline. You’re free to choose a different provider if you want.

Church academies

There are a different set of rules for church academies, agreed with the National Society of the Church of England and the Catholic Education Service.

These rules apply where the trustees of a church organisation allow your academy to occupy their property.

Under the rules those trustees:

  • are covered for losses and liabilities they may incur through you occupying their property
  • can make claims on your behalf for those losses and liabilities
  • can have those claims paid directly to them
  • can use the complaints and arbitration procedures about those claims

Other than this difference, the rules and level of cover are the same as the standard rules.

Check the church academy membership rules for full details.

Free advice and training

On joining you’ll get free risk management advice, training and best practice guidance from Willis Towers Watson.

Contact them if you need advice about the arrangement and the rules:

Email [email protected]

Phone 0117 9769 361

Make a claim

From 1 September Topmark Claims Management Ltd will handle claims.

For emergencies and urgent incidents (excluding overseas travel):

Email [email protected]

Phone 03300 585566

For overseas travel emergencies and incident claims:

Phone 020 3475 5031

General queries

If you have any other questions, including queries about opting in, email us at

Published 8 April 2014
Last updated 31 August 2018 + show all updates

  1. Added details of cover and new claims handling agency.
  2. Updated to give costs up to August 2019.
  3. Updated Gallagher Bassett contact details.
  4. Updated the guidance and included information about changes to funding from September 2016.
  5. Updated information on funding for RPA and guidance on how to opt in.
  6. Link added to standard wording referring to RPA in model leases.
  7. Updated with information about the membership rules for church academies.
  8. Updated with further information about risk management.
  9. Updated to add a link to the actuarial analysis report.
  10. RPA membership figures updated, showing number of academy members as of 1 October 2014.
  11. Updated with the link to the new form for opting in to RPA.
  12. Updated with information about how converting schools and new free schools opt in to the RPA.
  13. Updated with changes to reflect that the arrangement went live as at 1 September 2014.
  14. Updated to add further information and links to the RPA membership rules.
  15. More details about the benefits of joining the RPA scheme have been added
  16. DfE appoints expert advisors on risk protection arrangement (RPA) and third party administrator (TPA) for claims handling. Updated information relating to the implementation of the scheme.
  17. First published.

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