The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Multi-academy trusts

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 recent 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...
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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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Lisa Griffin

‘A revolution is happening’: Tim Coulson on multi-academy trusts

At our recent MATs Summit, regional school commissioner Tim Coulson spoke to us about the role of the RSC and developing successful relationships with trusts. What do you think of the suggestion we heard earlier from Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynski that MAT inspections should be based on an appraisal...
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Liz Worthen

‘Because you care, you can pull it off’: Lord Blunkett at the MATs Summit 2016

Grammar schools, career pathways, dealing with controversy and creating change: David Blunkett reflects on the current landscape for leaders in education. One of the highlights of the Optimus Education MATs Summit was hearing Lord Blunkett in conversation with Laura McInerney , editor of Schools...
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Lisa Griffin

Could you be a MAT CEO?

We spoke to multi-academy trust CEOs to find out their biggest challenges and advice they would give to new and aspiring CEOs. What key skills does a MAT CEO need? Vision developer Strategist Leadership developer Quality assurer Communicator for the MAT Ambassador for the MAT How important is it...
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Lisa Griffin

MATs: can the system cope?

Academy conversion and multi-academy trust growth seems to be the future for our educational landscape. Lisa Griffin explores the challenges and priorities this brings for MATs. As the DfE released its first white paper since 2010, Educational excellence everywhere , Nicky Morgan announced ‘This...
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