Establishing or Joining Multi-Academy Trusts, Leeds - Programme

Wednesday 29 Mar 2017 - Leeds

09:00 to 09:40

09:40 to 10:00

10:00 to 10:40

10:40 to 11:40

10:40 – 11:40
The MATs debate

Understand the benefits of MATs and how to unlock them: Economies of scale, shared resources, recruitment, retention and meaningful collaboration – real world examples of the benefits and potential challenges of MATs

A factual, balanced debate on the pros and cons of joining or creating a MAT

Robert Hill, Education Consultant, Writer, Analyst and Visiting Professor, UCL Institute of Education

Libby Nicholas, CEO, Reach4 Academy Trust 

Carol Dewhurst, Chief Executive Officer, Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust


11:30 to 11:40

11:40 to 12:10

12:10 to 13:00

12:10 – 13:00
Setting up a MAT: How to set up a MAT

1A - How to set up a MAT

The following sessions will address the key challenges of forming a MAT

Your step-by-step guide to forming a MAT: Understand the key characteristics of existing MAT models and structures, successfully develop your business plan and avoid common pitfalls

Nick Mackenzie, Partner, Browne Jacobson LLP

12:10 – 13:00
Joining a MAT: Retaining your ehtos and identity

1B - Retaining your ethos and identity

The following sessions will provide guidance for those looking to join an existing MAT

Is it possible to join a MAT and retain your own identity? Recognise the non-negotiable areas you want to preserve and understand what to look for in a MAT to maintain your individual school ethos

Brian Lightman, Education Consultant and former General Secretary of ASCL
Steve Taylor, Executive Headteacher, Robin Hood Multi Academy Trust

12:10 – 13:00
Options and Challenges: Academy conversion process

1C - Academy conversion process

The following sessions will cover various options and provide guidance on key challenges

Clarify the legal process of converting: How to apply for academy status, your consultation requirements and the key steps for a successful conversion

Gain access to our academy conversion governor briefing to share with your governing body


13:00 to 14:00

14:00 to 14:50

14:00 – 14:50
Setting up a MAT: Sustainable growth

2A - Sustainable growth

Develop a foundation for sustainable growth in a MAT: Use technology effectively, centralise services and avoid the common pitfalls of expansion to ensure your MAT is future-proofed

Jesse Johnson, Head of Multi-Academy Trusts, RM Education
Rachel Jones, Innovation Director, The Elliot Foundation

14:00 – 14:50
Joining a MAT: The process of joining a MAT

2B - The process of joining a MAT

Understand the legal process of academy transfers and recognise the essential steps for you and your chosen MAT to ensure a smooth process and harmonious relationship.

Plus, gain a toolkit of essential questions to ask any potential partner.

Nick Mackenzie, Partner, Browne Jacobson LLP

14:00 – 14:50
Options and Challenges: Financial responsibility and compliance

2C - Financial responsibility and compliance

Clarify your financial obligations as a standalone academy or MAT, report clearly to the EFA and ensure robust financial management and compliance across your organisation

Gillian Pigott CPFA, Tudhoe Learning Trust, Director of Business Finance and Development


14:50 to 15:20

14:50 – 15:20
Building a board

3A - Building a board

Good governance in MATs and how it works in practice: Understand existing governance and leadership structures will change when you become a MAT and how to build a board to drive improvements

Scott Walker, Regional Director, Academy Ambassadors

14:50 – 15:20
Attracting the right partners

3B - Attracting the right partners

Marketing your values and culture to attract potential partner schools to enable open, constructive discussions whilst negating the fear of aggressive takeovers

14:50 – 15:20

3C - Staff

Understand the impact joining a MAT or converting to an academy can have on staff terms and conditions, recruitment and retention and manage potential concerns from colleagues


15:20 to 15:40

15:40 to 16:30

15:40 – 16:30
Setting up a MAT: Funding and finance

4A - Funding and finance

Clarify the different approaches to finance across your MAT, understand ‘top-slicing’ and know how to pool and distribute funds fairly to ensure financial stability

15:40 – 16:30
Joining a MAT: Identifying the right MAT

4B - Identifying the right MAT

Large chains vs. small local MATs Multi-phase vs. single-phase MATs Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your school, the pros and cons of different MAT structures and identify which type of MAT would be the best fit to support your school

Steve Taylor, Executive Headteacher, Robin Hood Multi Academy Trust

15:40 – 16:30
Options and Challenges: Leadership and governance

4C - Leadership and governance

How does existing school leadership and accountability change when joining a MAT: Understand the differences between local governing bodies and local advisory bodies and know what robust leadership in a MAT looks like

Libby Nicholas, CEO, Reach4 Academy Trust