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Anyone work in a MAT?(7 Posts)
I'll be completely honest here - I am a primary teacher but this question is in response to an issue that's just cropped up as a parent. We had a letter last week from the school stating their intention to consult about forming a multi-academy trust with several other schools (primary and secondary) in the area. Communication seems a bit crap as some of the other schools haven't sent letters (and some staff were unaware of this, but hey, that's a whole other thing).
There are several professional reasons why I personally think this is not great but as I work in a LA school (at the moment!!), I have no experience of a MAT or indeed, working in an academy. Does anyone out there have any first-hand knowledge of one, either as a teacher or parent? What was the impact at grass-roots level? Most of my knowledge may be terribly biased as I am coloured by the Guardian and NUT and hating the Tories so I'd appreciate any real experience, good or bad...
I work in a MAT, I'm secondary
Positives: far more collaboration between schools, we have occasional joint meetings/training, even between secondary and primary. Some teachers are shared between schools meaning more subjects can be taught at each school and some students at sixth form are bussed to other schools in the MAT for various subjects meaning they have more choice.
Cons: resources are diverted to more problematic schools in the MAT
Teachers are employed on a MAT contract which means they can be sent to work at any school in the MAT for part of their timetable (travel is paid)
I think how it can be depends on how strong/strict on uniformity the MAT is.
I'm not a teacher (but from a family of them) but our local secondary is part of a successful MAT and I have a good friend who is a head at one of its schools.
What strikes me at open days, is how, on the whole, very positive everyone seems. I asked one teacher (who was doing an activity with dd) whether she enjoyed working here and got a genuinely enthusiastic response. Yes, it does seem almost cult like and takes a bit for my cynical self to get used to, but on the whole or local one has been doing sine good things.
I think the general attitude is that 'you're either with us and going to make it work and we'll give you all the support needed, or you're out' though.
I'd love it if the dcs' struggling primary joined this particular MAT.
My dd's attend a school that is part of a mat
They have recently increased the number of schools in the mat and now includes a couple of primary schools
One of the primaries has had a 95% staff turnover in 18 months, some of the new teachers that were recruited have left after 1 term
They have the same behaviour mgt policy across the mat -so 5 year olds have the same rules and sanctions as 15 year olds
The staff hate it but are too scared to speak out
The parents are pulling the kids out of the primary as soon as places at other local schools become available
The SEN provision is terrible
although on paper i'm sure it looks very good
Our MAT has some common policies, like pay and conditions but marking/teaching/curriculum etc are left to the individual schools. We do come together occasionally (last inset was full MAT, but this meant we could pool resources so a money saver); but we are the only secondary and the primaries are put traditional feeder schools.
Other than booster classes and art specialists there is no 'sharing' of staff
DSs primary has just joined a MAT unfortunately.
50% of the workforce resigned after 1 term due to the 'excessive intrusion' by those running the MAT. The Head is pulling his hair out trying to meet with their demands and when he has asked for help dealing with particular issues he has been told to deal with it himself.
They're mainly interested in the schools that are doing well and they appear to ignore those struggling.
The only thing they do differently is that a smaller portion of the budget is given to the MAT to administer the paperwork (salary, pensions etc) than the LEA used to take. They insist on the school cant use the money saved for their own ideas/uses. It has to be shared across all schools in the MAT supposedly to support those needing it more. Our school has actually ended up with less budget than they were told they were getting during the consultation with the MAT which they desperately need
It's not brilliant by any means but we were asked
forced to convert by the CofE so had little choice in reality.
I teach in a Secondary which is part of a MAT. The trust is one of the biggest in the country and it has been a disaster. Since they took over, we have had 7 head teachers. They took over in February 2014. They have done bugger all for us. It's shit. I am bitter - I'm sure they're not all like that, but it's played a big part in my decision to leave the school (and teaching in schools completely) once my Year 13s are through at the end of this academic year.
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