Multi Academy Trust - what is the benefit?

(14 Posts)
Fluffcake Mon 25-May-15 17:18:43

Dd's school has sent an email home re MAT. School is already an academy but now wants to become MAT with another similar school in the borough (girls grammar schools). Dd's headmistress will be "executive head" of both (she used to be deputy head of other school and since her leaving they have been through 2 HTs).
Apart from her probably getting quite a big pay rise, what is the benefit to the school and the girls???

GoldfishSpy Mon 25-May-15 17:21:01

Resources can be shared. It is often a way to support a less strong school to improve.

Also MATs can be used to 'shelter' small schools from being closed because of low numbers - there can be economies of scale.

Fluffcake Mon 25-May-15 17:28:02

Thanks Gold fish
That would make sense for other schools but both are grammars so academically very strong. Also dd's school expanded intake a couple of years ago. I would be interested to know what resources they would share...

Ladymuck Mon 25-May-15 17:51:26

I suspect that it may be sixth form courses. Many school sixth forms are seeing their funding squeezed and it tends to be some of the more academic subjects that are harder to run with large enough classes (eg MFL) I would try not to be too cynical about the payrise. Typically it is the Head of school salaries that are reduced to deputy head level:- schools go to a MAT for cost efficiencies. There will be some back office savings.

You will probably find that this has been discussed for some time. Many governing bodies will have been waiting for the outcome of the election. To be honest it sounds as if the school leadership are on the ball. Have they also changed their admissions policy to pick up pupil premium?

Decorhate Mon 25-May-15 17:52:01

It would probably be "back office" sort of stuff such as HR, Finance, IT that would have no impact on pupils

TalkinPeace Tue 26-May-15 21:03:04

big fat pay rises for senior staff on the inside loop

Elibean Wed 27-May-15 15:21:06

MATs have been raised in our area, OP - there can be many benefits (as mentioned, financial and staff training eg). There can also be drawbacks, if the schools have different ethos to each other and the overarching structure starts to dictate eg teaching policy. Officially or not.

In our locality, the schools already communicate well and share best practice - if that wasn't already happening, I imagine a MAT would encourage some of that. As it is, the only very clear benefit as far as I can see is (in our case) a fairly guaranteed path to the local secondary, which is now oversubscribed. Which pretty much takes us back to the old feeder school system, recently abolished confused

MrsUltracrepidarian Wed 27-May-15 18:46:13

In my area (Richmond Upon Thames) a MAT has been proposed because there is a floundering Secondary Academy with two excellent primaries that should be feeders for it, but where parents from those primaries have shunned it. The unspoken hints primary parents have been given is the one of the primary Heads is likely to be the Exec Head, thus giving better leadership to the secondary where the Head has been perceived as under-performing, and the school not adding value to the DC, with them making poorer progress than was expected when they joined form those primaries.

Fluffcake Fri 29-May-15 22:25:09

Thanks for the replies. Schools are very similar - all girls grammars, so presumably MAT is about sharing costs etc where possible. Schools could possibly save money on the entrance test as well.

noblegiraffe Fri 29-May-15 23:03:11

If they establish a MAT then it offers some protection from them being taken over by an academy chain who will no doubt be sniffing around. They will probably look to bring other schools under their umbrella too, maybe a primary, a more vocational school where they can ship some of their less academic students for part of the week etc.&

Charis1 Sat 30-May-15 01:19:36

students and staff can be ordered to a different site. This is my main concern with MATs

Fluffcake Sat 30-May-15 09:21:13

Noble, both schools are highly selective so don't think they would want a vocational school as it might damage the "brand". They may look at a primary but I as there are no feeders already and girls come from so many different schools, I'm not sure how they would decide on a school.
Charis, staff being moved about wouldn't be great and girls being moved would be worse. We didn't apply to the other school as too far away for DD to reasonably travel there. Both schools have a wide catchment so I would expect this would cause difficulty for many others as well.

musicinspring1 Sat 30-May-15 09:52:51

I know the schools you are talking about OP and I would think it would be to strengthen course choices/resources etc. I would share your concern about travel between the two sites though (let alone traffic and parking!) and as they are both similar schools I'm not really sure what the benefit would be to the pupils? In a way wouldn't it be better to link to schools that are different rather than the same??

tiggytape Mon 01-Jun-15 14:25:35

I think the main benefit is financial which of course impacts on everything else in the school. If they can share procurement and resources, then they save money.
As Ladymuck says, it is likely to be sixth form funding that is of particular concern right now. If they want to ensure choices of A Levels are accommodated with numbers enough to make it viable, this may be something that joining forces secures.

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