Orders under section 554 of the Education Act 1996 (section 554 orders) are made by the Secretary of State in respect of closed church schools. When such schools close, the trusts governing the property fail. Section 554 orders create new trusts for the property. These trusts will usually authorise the diocese to sell the property and use the proceeds of sale for the benefit of other church schools in the diocese.

Detailed information for dioceses about the procedures and legislation governing section 554 orders is contained in the Department's 'Notes of Guidance for Dioceses'.