Building Improvement across Multi Academy Trusts

How does the structure of a MAT support improvement, innovation and success for students and staff?

5 January 2024

Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) are a fertile ground for innovation and improvement. They’re designed to balance autonomy and collaboration, something that we know is vital to improve performance in any educational establishment. If you’re leading a MAT, the very structure of your organisation should mean that a model of excellence comes as standard. Here’s why:

Improvement by Design 

Sharing resources and expertise is often cited as the biggest benefit of the MAT structure. You may be on a mission to raise educational standards across all the schools within your Trust and your structure could be a great asset. Pooling expertise and sharing knowledge can lead to more effective strategies for addressing challenges and promoting best practice. This works brilliantly once there is a clear culture established, followed by an effective model in place to share learning and swap ideas. Struggling to leverage the expertise you know you have, is frustrating and commonplace.

Autonomy & Collaboration 

Every school in a MAT usually maintains individual identity, so that each can align more closely to the needs of their school community. Celebrating individuality whilst building a core MAT culture is tricky and needs clear communication and leadership to get right – it’s crucial to success. Your aim will be to replicate the success of the best schools in the Trust by empowering those who are falling behind to be better.

Access to Specialist Support

A MAT often has the capacity to bring in specialist expertise above and beyond that of an individual school. Control of budget and the ability to adapt leadership and governance models means there is often more freedom to embrace new ideas.

This can include educational specialists, curriculum development teams, and other professionals who can contribute to the overall improvement of the schools within the Trust.

Flexible Governance Structures

Sitting outside of local authority control, MATs have flexibility in their governance structures. They can adapt their leadership and governance models to suit the needs of the individual schools within the Trust. 

A Beacon of Innovation

MATs can be a rich bed of innovation in education. With an engaged workforce and a culture of collaboration, there is a greater potential for sharing innovative teaching practices, experimenting with new educational technologies, and implementing progressive approaches. 

We worked in many Multi Academy Trusts and we know that the key to improvement hangs around inspiring your team to learn new ways of working that will build ownership and confidence, giving people the freedom to innovate. If you’d like to know more about how to get your MAT fit for the future, get in touch for a chat.

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