What makes a successful MAT part 2
Firstly, if you haven’t read Part 1 you can find that here.
There are many things that make for a successful MAT but three things really underpin a successful MAT. These are:
- School to school support
- School to school improvement
- School to school challenge
We can talk about infrastructures, financial sustainability, the people and size of Trust ( only the powers that be talk about size and the number of pupils in the MAT bringing success ) but when you cut all this back, the 3 points above are, when you truly think about it, the true foundations of any successful group of schools coming together.
A MAT really should be a group of schools coming together and creating something that is bigger than the sum of the parts. A MAT should be a group of schools where all have different strengths and weaknesses so that those weaknesses can be corrected by the group as a whole. Support can not really be effective if all schools have the same strengths and weaknesses.
Improvement comes from that support across the whole of the group. Not by schools being insular and separate. Directors, no matter if they came from the constituent schools Governing Bodies, should not consider themselves from one school or the other. They should consider themselves decision makers for all schools in the group. That’s a mindset that leads to improvement across the wider group not just one or two schools in the Trust.
Challenge is something that can be tricky and if done wrong can lead to issues between people and schools. If done correctly, it can generate questions that lead to changes in mindset and be thought-provoking to come up with solutions.
Getting the right balance in these 3 areas can provide a robust foundation for the MAT that underpins the whole structure in order that everyone can focus on the truly important aspect of any school or MAT – doing our best for the children.