Nine ways in which expanding academy trusts have to change to succeed

New research has identified nine ways in which expanding multi-academy trusts (MATs) have to change how they operate in order to be effective as they take on more schools. Tes reports.

The report has been published today by the charity Ambition School Leadership and has been produced by the education thinktank LKMco.

Ambition School Leadership chief executive James Toop said: “We know that the best MATs have great leaders who ensure schools achieve better outcomes by working together rather than independently. But our research suggests that what works well for a trust with two or three schools won’t necessarily work for a trust with ten or more.” 

The nine “breakpoints” for expanding small and medium MATS are:

1. Accountability and oversight

The chief executive cannot line manage all the schools and the MAT needs new personnel and monitoring systems in order to retain oversight. 

3. Alignment

Chief executives must decide if new schools which join adopt the MAT-wide approach or retain autonomy, a choice which CEOs can find most challenging when outstanding schools want to join. 

6. Curriculum

Some MATs believe curriculum needs to reflect local context. If they do, that curriculum needs to adapt if they open a new geographic hub or region.

9. School performance:

MATs may give more autonomy to high-performing schools to innovate or take a more directive approach with schools that start to underperform. 

Read more Nine ways in which expanding academy trusts have to change to succeed

Are you working in an expanding academy trust? Are these useful suggestions? Can a trust become too big? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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