‘Joining a multi-academy trust is like marriage without divorce’

The Guardian spoke to three school leaders about the pros and cons of becoming an Academy. 

‘Joining a multi-academy trust is like marriage without the option of divorce’

Rob Campbell is principal of Impington village college, a secondary academy in Cambridgeshire, which became an academy in 2012 and is currently forming a MAT.

We were initially reluctant and it did take a while for us to consult and then convert – there was quite a lot of resistance. The staff sessions were remarkably benign; the big concerns came from the local community.

I think you have to embrace change and let it happen, but that means getting to the point that you know and understand the risks involved and can make sure that they are understood by everyone else. To be honest, we struggled in that regard because there was that lack of knowledge and understanding. It’s that Donald Rumsfeld thing; you don’t know what you don’t know until you come across it. 

Moving into a MAT is even more complex; are you the lead school? How are you working together? What’s your scheme of delegation? Becoming part of an MAT is like marriage without the possibility of divorce – and let’s face it, most of us would think very carefully if there was no divorce. Talk to as many people who have gone through it as you can. You really need to know and understand the process, and if you don’t yet, find a way to make damn well sure that you do.

Read about the other two school leaders: ‘Joining a multi-academy trust is like marriage without divorce’


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Categories: Academies.


  1. gov2

    Pity they seem to have researched it as if checking suitability for a quick fling and disregarding long-term consequences.

  2. colinsparkbridg

    SchoolsImprove Joining a MAT is not just like a marriage but like a polygamous one – a kind of educational harem?

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