General information about Multi Academy Trusts
What is a Multi Academy Trust?
- A group of academies who are working together to achieve the best outcomes for children. The schools are linked formally through governance and legal status.
How does being an academy differ from being a local authority maintained school?
- Academies within a MAT receive funding directly from the government and are run by the academy trust. The MAT has more control over how they do things than local authority schools, for example they do not have to follow the national curriculum and can set their own term times.
- Academies are inspected by Ofsted just the same as local authority schools. They have to follow the same rules on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as other schools and students sit the same exams.
- Academy trusts are not-for-profit companies. They employ the staff, rather than the local authority and have trustees who are responsible for the performance of the academies in the trust
What are the key benefits of being a member of a MAT?
- Sharing of expertise at all levels across schools – leadership, teaching and support staff
- High quality and joint staff professional development
- Freeing up head teachers to focus on the teaching and learning in school
- Improved career progression for talented staff, allowing us to recruit and retain high quality people
- Financial savings around procurement due to bulk purchasing of goods and services
- Shared central office support, saving money and providing financial security and value
Do schools have a choice about becoming part of a MAT?
- At this moment, yes. It is up to the Governing Board to decide whether they feel it is in the interests of their school community to join a MAT.
- Current Government thinking suggests that the move towards academisation will gain impetus over the coming year. In April 2021, the Secretary of State for Education set out the government’s vision “for every school to be part of a family of schools in a strong multi academy trust” (MAT). Gavin Williamson MP said that the Department for Education (DfE) will be looking to make the process of joining a multi academy trust as easy as possible”.
Why Consider Joining Cleves Cross Learning Trust?
Our aim is that all children within our trust schools achieve the very best that they can. We work together so that…
Trust schools achieve outcomes which are excellent, by ensuring each pupil is supported to achieve their best.
- Each pupil is carefully monitored, challenging individual targets are set and the child is supported to achieve these specific targets.
Trust pupils experience exemplary teaching from inspirational teachers.
- Trust schools will be a preferred employer chosen by above average teachers, offering both job satisfaction from the successful development of children and the quality of professional teaching development.
- The executive head teacher, head teachers, all the teaching staff and support staff feel, and are, held accountable for the outcomes achieved by the children.
Trust schools provide an exciting and engaging curriculum, with inspirational learning opportunities.
- Each school provides a curriculum which combines a focus on the key skills of reading, writing and mathematics with broader learning experiences which encourage pupils to excel in other areas of the curriculum.
- Across the trust, teachers plan and deliver innovative and engaging opportunities to improve the learning experience of our children.
Trust schools support our pupils to become global citizens, valuable members of our community and society.
- Each school’s aim is to create a happy, secure and sustainable environment where children can explore, investigate, listen and discuss in order to become independent, mature and well-motivated learners.
- Children’s rights, taken form the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, are central to everything we do in the Trust schools.
Trust schools are recognised for their engagement and contribution to the wider community.
- Each school has an active and committed Local Governing Body, which supports the school in maintaining a positive image in the local community.
- Each school actively promotes effective ideas for engaging pupils in activities which benefit both the children and the community.
The Trust is a financially sustainable and growing family of schools, that work effectively together.
- We aim to ensure future sustainability by efficient and effective financial management which ensures the best possible value for money.
- We want to achieve measured growth to gain benefits from scale while still maintaining effective communication, management and close working arrangements. The benefits of growth come from; sharing specialist resources and best practices, replicating effective teaching approaches and gaining efficiencies in procurement.
What would be the benefits for our school community if we joined Cleves Cross Learning Trust?
Becoming a member of our MAT would be a commitment to working closely together, striving to ensure that all of our children receive the highest quality education during their time with us.
For your Children
- A commitment to providing high quality teaching and learning – from Early Years to the end of Key Stage 2.
- A wealth of experiences and opportunities, in and out of school – social, cultural, educational……and most of all fun!
- Pastoral support from experienced professionals within our MAT and, where needed, from external professionals.
- The chance to interact with other children from our family of schools and share learning, challenges and excitement!
- Collaboration with others – sharing the workload and supporting each other in their role
- High quality professional development from experts in the field of education and from leading practitioners across the MAT
- Moderation opportunities that are supportive and lead to improved outcomes
- Coaching experiences that show us that we are forever learning and improving our classroom practice
- Support from experienced colleagues in all aspects of their role – classroom teacher, subject leader, SEN provider etc.
- Career opportunities across the MAT to share their knowledge and expertise and develop their career path.
For School Improvement
- Experienced senior leaders, with a proven background in school improvement, working across schools, in all phases, to ensure staff are supported to deliver the highest quality teaching and learning experiences for our children.
- External collaboration with established partners in the education field ensure that our schools are well placed to share the expertise, knowledge and best possible outcomes for our children.
As a small, growing trust, we are keen to work with all our schools. Rather than feeling that a school is being ‘taken-over’ we see a new member school as an opportunity to improve and share good practice, so that we can all learn, grow and thrive together for the benefit of the children in our care.
What about our School – what would change?
- The MAT is governed by a Board of Trustees, who are in turn accountable to the MAT’s Members. Each academy within CCLT retains its own Local Governing Body who continue to act in the best interests of their school. The Board regularly undertakes self-review and is always willing to consider new members joining – especially if they can add to the skills needed to strengthen governance of the MAT.
- Each LGB has decision making powers outlined in the MAT’s Scheme of Delegation – available on each school’s website. Local Governors continue to have a key role in shaping their school developments, budget priorities and staffing structure. Collaboration between the CCLT Board and the schools’ LGB is valued and encouraged. Local Governors know their school and community best and this is considered a strength of our Trust.
- CCLT has a responsibility to manage the finances of the whole trust. Each academy has its own general annual grant that is provided by central government. The Local Governing Body of each school continue to identify budget priorities, alongside the Head Teacher and this is presented to the Trustees for final approval. A proportion of the budget is paid to the Trust to provide central essential service such as HR, insurance, payroll, finance etc. The amount paid for these services is agreed on conversion and reflects the size and capacity of each school. This is reviewed annually by the Board of Trustees.
- Costs and legal expenses are incurred but the Department for Education provide a conversion grant which cover all of these costs.
- Current staff transfer over to the Trust on a TUPE – Transfer of undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations basis. This protects their terms and conditions and is all handled during the conversion process. Staff are fully consulted throughout.
Senior Leadership and Head Teacher
- Our current schools both retain their own Head Teacher and Leadership team and are fully supported by our CEO and Trust Business Manager.
- Your own school’s identity, ethos and community are an important part of your school – and this will be important to our Trust too. An agreement to join our MAT is made jointly and it is highly likely that our vision and yours are very closely aligned.
Further independent information is readily available from the National Governance Association (membership of which is included in our Trust offer for each member of your Local Governing Body) https://www.nga.org.uk/Home.aspx