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        The government has set out plans for the academisation of all schools by 2030. If these plans go ahead, all schools will become part of a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT). A MAT is a Trust that operates two or more academy schools. Academy schools are state funded in England and are independent of local authority control.

        Non-academy schools or local authority (LA) schools will be expected to join a MAT over the next seven years. LA schools would first need to become academies before joining a MAT, schools that are part of a MAT are called Trust schools.

        In the biggest shake-up to the UK education system in recent years, many teachers are wondering how this will affect them and what it could mean in the long term. Let’s take a look at what it is really like to join a MAT.

        Changing from an LA to an academy

        The first step towards achieving this target is getting LA schools to change to academy schools, but how will this affect teachers? The biggest change when becoming an academy school is where the school’s funding comes from and who they are accountable to.

        An academy receives its funding directly from the government rather than through the local authority, resulting in the academy being directly accountable to the Department for Education. All schools are still inspected by Ofsted whether they are an academy or an LA.

        When a LA school becomes an academy, it will either be a converter academy, a school that had a previous ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Ofsted grading, or a sponsored academy which are typically underperforming schools. Sponsored academies are run by sponsors with the aim to improve performance over time.

        Both types of academies are fundamentally the same, they are run by a headteacher or principal and the Trust oversees operations and provides advice, support and strategic overview for the schools that are part of the Trust.

        This initial change is perhaps the most daunting for teachers and all school staff, especially if they have only ever worked in an LA school. But there are many benefits to becoming an academy.

        Benefits of joining a MAT

        While it is thought that being part of a MAT can raise student attainment as well as create a stronger structure for managing business operations and centralise decision-making, these things will not happen overnight.

        Changes in leadership as well as aligning cultures and governance with other trust schools will take time, but the results, in the long run, can be worth it. Some of the benefits of joining a MAT include:

        • Stronger leadership through the shared resources, skills and experience of multiple school leaders across the Trust schools.
        • Can drive up education standards in disadvantaged areas.
        • Shared resources can help overcome staff shortages and offer staff more varied roles as well as improve education outcomes for students.
        • MATs can achieve economies of scale due to their larger size. Which can enable them to make savings that wouldn’t be available to a single school.
        • Additional budget can help Trust schools bring enterprise-level technology to schools.
        • Academies have the freedom to set their own term times.
        • Flexibility in learning programs as they do not have to follow the national curriculum. Although they do have to demonstrate they offer a balanced and broadly based range of subjects to include English, mathematics and science.

        Here at Vision Teaching, we work with leading academies across London to help manage their recruitment needs, reduce costs and improve the quality and consistency of staff.

        We have helped schools recruit NQTs, International teachers, SLTs and experienced teachers and support staff to add educational impact, whilst providing an efficient service that speeds up the recruitment process saving schools thousands of pounds a year, which can be re-deployed into school budgets.

        Looking to take the next step in your teaching journey?

        If you are looking for your next challenge, join the Vision Teaching community to help you find your next rewarding role. As specialists in all aspects of school recruitment, we help every borough in London attract and retain high-quality teaching, support, and administrative staff. We have a wide range of opportunities across London in both primary and secondary education settings.

        Browse our teaching jobs and find your next role: https://visionteaching.co.uk/job-search/

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