Making the Right Decision for your School
Governing Bodies of maintained schools have possibly the most important decision they will have to make when they decide about how and when they are going to embrace the process of academisation. This decision has been made even more difficult as the DfE have given out a clear message that single converter schools or empty MAT's are unlikely to be given the go ahead to convert.
As a newly established Collaborative Educational Trust, the DfE's rationale for this decision has quickly been realised in that developing Trusts of 10 or less schools face difficult financial challenges. This is in terms of the design and implementation of centralised services to meet the demands of the academy process. In order to make the sums stack up, to achieve economies of scale, then schools need to be in larger clusters.
The choices that schools seem to be left with seem threefold. Join a MAT with possible sponsors, who have established systems and support structures. Such MATs seem corporate and centralised and as they are already established you will have little say in their governance or strategic direction as their pathways will have been already set. Collaborate with other maintained schools, establish a lead school or appoint an independent CEO and present your case to the DfE. Join a newly founded MAT.
As a newly established Multi Academy Trust (September 2015) evolving in capacity, all academy leaders sit on an advisory group of head teachers, accountable to the Trust Board of Directors. Therefore, all academies have an influence on Multi Academy Trust developments and a voice in shaping the future. Academies within the Multi Academy Trust have leadership from likeminded head teachers, who have shared values, beliefs and high expectations and aspirations for children and young adults.
The Manor Hall Trust is outward looking. We believe we have a responsibility to all pupils not just those in our immediate care. Our schools work pro-actively in their localities with many mainstream schools. The Trust is inclusive, forward thinking and would welcome mainstream schools becoming members. We know many mainstream schools share our values and would help us develop further as a collaborative group of schools.
To find out more about the Trust, if you feel that our model of school collaboration is for you, please do not hesitate to contact me.
CEO, Manor Hall Academy Trust