The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Multi-academy trusts

Lisa Griffin

MATs Summit 2017: four phases of school improvement

‘School improvement is strongest when schools work together.' Lisa Griffin reports back from the first day of our multi-academy trust event. Sir David Carter sets out his vision for the future of school improvement School improvement was the theme of the day as the third annual MATs Summit kicked...
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Liz Worthen

When finance met fine dining: modelling efficiencies in MATs

Our MATs Summit prelude brought financial management heads together to discuss fairer funding and money-saving in multi-academy trusts. Models for growth The afternoon began with an exploration of models and structures led by Matthew Clements-Wheeler, business manager and deputy headteacher at...
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Karen Burns

Let’s stay together – in a MAT

Personalising the art of retention is key to keeping staff. Karen Burns describes why multi-academy trusts provide more options to aid the retention of talent. Overwhelmingly the biggest contributor to staff retention is the feel and experience of working in a school on a day to day basis. It can...
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Lisa Griffin

Nearing the summit: Laura McInerney on the MATs landscape

Chair of our annual Multi-Academy Trusts Summit and Schools Week editor Laura McInerney talks about the forthcoming event. This is your third year chairing the MATs Summit. What keeps you coming back? Laura: It’s one of the only events that bring CEOs of multi-academy trusts together to think about...
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Lisa Griffin

Could you be a MAT CFO?

We speak to financial experts about the crucial role played by finance directors in multi-academy trusts. Stephen Morales, executive director of the National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) What are the key skills that a finance director (FD) or chief finance officer (CFO) in a...
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Steve Taylor

MATs: a 'try before you buy' approach

Executive head Steve Taylor explains why his multi-academy trust are taking struggling schools on loan for a year as part of a ‘try before you buy’ scheme. Robin Hood Multi-Academy Trust formed in September 2016 with a clear vision: to test the boundaries of education, take risks and follow what we...
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Sue Birchall

To MAT, or not to MAT?

Academisation has significant implications for the role of the SBM. If you place your trust in trusts, collaboration will be the key to meeting the needs of pupils. Are multi-academy trusts the future of academies? As someone who works within a multi-academy trust (MAT), I’m eagerly watching the...
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Lisa Griffin

Establishing or joining a MAT: autonomy vs capacity

Our Establishing or Joining Multi-Academy Trusts conference was a day of debate, thoughtful questions and honest answers. Lisa Griffin highlights some of the key learnings. Autonomy and capacity were the big buzz words of the event. For most of the attendees who were looking for guidance on whether...
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Sue Birchall

Academisation u-turn: a change for the better?

The government's decision to row back on academisation spells uncertainty for many, a welcome relief for others. What will the future hold for the sector? The Education Bill, which included legislation forcing academisation, has been dropped. Yet another conundrum for schools, a change of heart...
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Linda Alpin

Twi-lights of #oeMATs

Our recent MATs summit was alive with great ideas and expert advice. Looking back, here are some of the things that got our delegates tweeting. The Twittersphere at the two-day MATs Summit was electric with the constant buzzing of my phone from every notification; from the brilliant 'Leaders Debate...
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