Establishing or Joining Multi-Academy Trusts, Leeds - Programme

Wednesday 29 Mar 2017 - Thursday 1 Jan 1970
Royal Armouries Hall, Leeds

09:00 to 09:40

09:40 to 10:00

10:00 to 10:30

10:00 – 10:30
The role of system leadership in a rapidly changing educational landscape

What is the place of single and multi-academy trusts and how do we ensure that the system has enough capacity to support the schools that are not yet good enough?

Chris Tweedale, Chief Executive, Aldridge Education


10:30 to 11:20

10:30 – 11:20
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

Libby Nicholas, CEO, Reach4 Academy Trust 

Carol Dewhurst, Chief Executive Officer, Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust


11:20 to 11:30

11:30 to 12:00

12:00 to 12:50

12:00 – 12:50
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

12:00 – 12:50
Joining a MAT: Retaining your ethos 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

12:00 – 12:50
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


12:50 to 13:50

13:50 to 14:40

13:50 – 14:40
Setting up a MAT: Leadership and governance

2A - 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

13:50 – 14:40
Joining a MAT: Identifying the right MAT

2B - 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
Carol Dewhurst, Chief Executive Officer, Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust

13:50 – 14:40
Options and Challenges: Managing multiple schools

2C - Managing multiple schools

Scaling up without blowing up: how to effectively manage multiple schools as a trust, embed consistent working practices that work locally whilst providing central oversight, reporting and appropriate intervention

Adam Watson, Director, Every


14:40 to 15:10

14:40 – 15:10
Building a board

Keynote 3 - 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


15:10 to 15:30

15:30 to 16:20

15:30 – 16:20
Setting up a MAT: Financial responsibility and compliance

3A - 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

15:30 – 16:20
Joining a MAT: Identifying the right MAT

3B - 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

15:30 – 16:20
Options and Challenges: Sustainable growth

3C - Sustainable growth

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

Andrew Lagden, Educational Consultant