Frequently Asked Questions
- Being part of a MAT may give the academy school access to better or wider access to resources or support
- Close working relationships with other schools in the trust and joining the MAT would be a natural next step
- The single academy may need to become a sponsored academy school
- The single academy may not have the capacity to continue as a single academy
Existing single academies looking to join a MAT (Multi Academy Trust) need to comply with DfE (Department for Education) guidance on making significant changes.
The DfE guidance on making significant changes requires both parties to consult with key stakeholders, including the local authority, for a minimum period of 8 weeks before submitting a business case to the EFA (Education Funding Authority).
The business of running the school will transfer from a single academy trust to the MAT. We will assist with guiding you through the process and provide support where necessary.
When an Academy joins a MAT; there will be three tiers of governance rather than two. These tiers will be:
- Members of the MAT
- Board of Trustees of the MAT
- Local governing bodies (LGB’s) for each academy school
Within a MAT, each academy school will usually have its own LGB. These have similar status to committees of a maintained governing body and the only powers they have are those delegated to them by the board. This is normally formalised into a scheme of delegation. Individuals serving on a LGB may or may not be directors of the academy trust. It is common for them to be referred to as ‘governors’, although technically the governors of an academy trust are the directors/trustees.
Whilst the LGBs will usually have delegation authority to run the academy school, the directors of the MAT will ultimately be responsible for all of the academies it runs.
The government’s expectation is that all schools are committed to becoming academies by 2022.
‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ schools are being encouraged to convert and underperforming schools are
required to convert.
The government is also currently drafting legislation to trigger conversion of all schools within a local
authority in two specific circumstances:
- If a local authority area reaches a ‘critical mass’ where there are so many academies that it cannot support its remaining schools.
- Where the local authority consistently fails to meet a minimum performance threshold across its schools,demonstrating an inability to bring about meaningful school improvement.
A converting school receives an Academy Support Grant of £25,000.
An academy trust which has two or more academies under a single trust.
- Sharing excellent practice in teaching and learning.
- Enhanced professional development of teaching and support staff.
- Greater opportunities for pupils to learn new skills and experience new activities.
- A richer curriculum through partnership working and shared resources.
- Attracting and retaining the most capable staff.
- Mutual support and challenge.
- Financial and resource efficiencies through centralised services
Schools who share the same vision and values can express to join IFTL. Given the government’s expectation that all schools are committed to becoming academies by 2022, it is likely that other schools will join the MAT over time.
Staff currently employed by a school joining the MAT will be employed by the MAT. However
Staff are protected by TUPE - Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 i.e. staff are legally protected to transfer under the same employment terms and conditions, including Pensions.
IFTL has a group of members who will have certain powers reserved to them, including the power to appoint some of the directors. The board of directors has responsibility for all of the academies operated by the IFTL. The IFTL board is also required to establish a 'local governing body' for each academy.