Multi Academy Trust Consultation Archive
Following extensive discussions amongst governors and staff (through the staff working party), we have begun a dialogue with Hawes Down Junior and Infants Schools, and we now wish to begin a formal consultation process with stakeholders about our joint proposal to set up a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT).
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions below plus the documents and letters in the downloads section to the left of this page.
What is a MAT?
- A MAT is a Multi-Academy Trust. It is a legal entity that governs a group of schools through a single set of directors. It is set up by a group of schools, usually a local collaboration, that share a common ethos and vision.
Why are schools forming MATs both locally and nationally?
- Changes in the educational landscape mean that very little remains of borough-based authority for education in Bromley. The Borough and the Government see the long term future for schools as developing collaboratively through local groupings. Schools can use the strong collaboration and accountability afforded by the MAT to drive up standards and share best practice and services across the trust, replacing aspects of former local authority support.
Is there a set model for how a MAT has to operate?
- No. There are rules regarding how a MAT is funded, but the way in which a MAT operates, its governance structure and vision/ethos are defined by the academy or academies that set up the MAT.
How is funding organised within the MAT?
- Funding for schools within a MAT is allocated on an individual academy basis. It is governed through a master funding agreement between the Secretary of State and the MAT and supplemental agreements between the Secretary of State and each school within the MAT.
Why do we want to set up a MAT?
Through setting up a MAT with other local schools we stand to gain through:
- Sharing expertise, resources and best practice and raising standards across key stages
- Greater purchasing power for contracts meaning cost savings through economies of scale
- Forming a local MAT will give us the structure to share our ethos and vision with our local community and help to maintain our comprehensive intake for the future. It also offers a strong degree of protection locally from other academy chains.
- Across the Borough academy chains and trusts are rapidly expanding. Such collaborations may impact on our future admissions and we believe we must explore all options moving forward. The MAT offers us the strongest framework and with local schools.
Why Hawes Down Junior and Infant Schools?
- For many years the Hawes Down schools, along with other local schools, ahve been part of Family Langley, a collaboration which deepended through the ‘Level Up project’ involving Hawes Down Junion and 4 other local primaries. This school is one of our biggest feeders.
- We were approached by the headteachers of the two Hawes Down schools last year. We were happy to maintain a dialogue with these schools since we already have a close working relationship with them, especially the Junior School. We believe that because this is a huge undertaking by the primary schools as well as us that there has to a firm commitment from their governing bodies to make this work. Having attended each of the governing body meetings and held a joint meeting, we are convinced that this will be a workable solution.
- We anticipate that we could be approached by other local primary schools in the period ahead, but we believe in starting small and piloting the concept of MAT tightly on a manageable scale.
What has been happening so far?
- Working parties for staff and governors have been convened. These have discussed in detail the opportunities and challenges that may arise through the formation of a MAT. These groups now feel ready to open the discussion to a wider audience and begin a formal period of consultation with the staff, parents and other stakeholders of the schools concerned.
Would Langley Park School for Girls lose its individuality / identity?
- A key principle of our MAT is that member academies maintain their own character. By working in partnership, the other members of the trust can achieve higher standards adn efficiencies. . The MAT will also aim to support its academies in tackling issues which are common across the group.
- We and the Hawes Down schools have a common commitment to developing the whole student and promoting creativity as well as raising standards. We would be building on the ‘Family Langley’ ethos.
As a member of staff, what changes will I notice?
- You will have a new employer: the trust. As we are instigating this trust you will not need to undergo TUPE and will not have any change to your working pay and conditions.
- We will have a stronger degree of collaboration with local schools. Initially this will be with the Hawes Down schools. This will not negate ongoing collaboration with other local schools.
How will the MAT be governed?
- The MAT has a board of directors. The make-up of this board is defined by the academies that set up the MAT so we will have a strong input on this.
- Individual schools will maintain their own boards of governors, school names, uniforms admission policies and operational integrity.
Would a MAT deter students from other primary schools applying to join LPGS?
- At present there are no plans to change our admissions criteria and our feeder schools are wide ranging.
Will a poor Ofsted rating in one of the schools affect the others within the MAT?
- Schools within the MAT will be supporting each other to raise standards, so this shouldn’t happen. However, if it does happen, then there will be a network of support already in place to support those colleagues.
Will the staff be expected to work in other schools or provide cover in other schools?
- Nobody would be asked to work in a partner school if they did not wish to do so, although having the ability to move staff between schools could provide a great opportunity for career development if it was needed.
Will each school lose its financial independence and its ability to manage its own finances?
- There would be a common financial procedures manual to be shared amongst all the schools but each school will be expected to maintain their own books. However, there is likely to be some centralisation of finances resulting in possible economies of scale.
Will there be a loss of autonomy for the local Governing Bodies?
- It will be up to the trust board of the MAT to decide how much (or how little) power is delegated back to the local governing bodies, so ultimately they may lose very little autonomy.
What happens to the individual PTA’s?
- Each school can retain their own PTA and fundraising ideas.
Will working with other schools mean lowering our own standards or possibly detracting resources from our own school?
- All the schools within our proposed MAT are high performing, local schools. Sharing expertise can only improve this further. Also, because we are all part of the same local community, we share the same families, and most would welcome closer collaboration.
What will happen to our land and buildings?
All land and buildings will be owned by the MAT rather than by the individual academies.