In the last couple of weeks problems within Multi-Academy Trusts have made the headlines yet again. Putting the Party Conferences to one-side, three stories caught my eye: A MAT in the South West has had its spending powers restricted due to the fact that it “identified medium term concerns relating to its financial operating model”. […]

After 21 academy conversions, £500,000 worth of additional funding to take on failing schools and accolades about being a “top performing” trust, things at Wakefield City Academies Trust has not gone as would have been hoped or anticipated. Before we all start discussing structures, policies and funding, let’s not forget that there are countless students, […]

There is many a paradox in the Academy world but perhaps the biggest one is around the Headteacher Board. A group of Headteachers, together with and headed by an RSC, making a decision on a school’s, or group of schools, ability to successfully run an academy? Then, once the group is approved they expect the […]

‘Go before we are pushed’, ‘control the journey and destination’ as well as ‘we are not having a Trust come in and tell us what to do, how to operate’. Sound familiar?! These are the main reasons schools are now converting to academy status. The building blocks to the recent budget announcement were started in […]

I’ve never been a fan of the phrase ‘Critical Friend’. In my opinion, what a nonsensical phrase. When I first became a governor over 23 years ago, a wise man told me a governor is three things – Watchdog, Mediator and Champion. He went on to say that if I wore all three hats with […]

It’s surprising how many Trusts do not undertake meaningful due diligence on a school joining the MAT. In the world of business, putting two companies together can take years. Yet, some Trusts think they can pay lip service to this vital element and then wonder why the Trust / school has issues down the line. […]

The first building block came in 2010 with the coalition changing how Academies looked. Under the previous government, these were failing schools where money was thrown at trying to solve the issue. The coalition, especially David Cameron, asked why Outstanding schools shouldn’t be allowed to make local decisions if they were doing something right. Fair […]

At the start of the Academies Act, schools applied to the DfE, were assessed and – nearly every time – approved for their Academy Order. Then, with the advent of Regional Schools Commissioners, schools applied to the DfE, the application was passed to a Headteacher Board overseen by an RSC and it is this group […]

Every school, or group of schools, at the start of conversion considerations wonder what skill sets are required. By and large, there are 4 that RSC’s like. There is a fifth that can’t be quantified, guaged or is tangible enough for it to be detailed on the application! Yet, the fifth skill set is quite […]