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Academisation Updates

26th May 2023

First round of FAQs published. 

25th May 2023

Senior Leaders and Governors have set out a plan with True Learning, so due diligence between both parties can take place.

22nd May 2023 

Parents were informed of the outcome of the governor votes in a letter sent home, this started a phase of informal parental consultation in the form of a FAQ list. Parents were invited to submit any questions they had to:


Summer Term 2023 

The full governing body reviewed all the information that was presented to us and we took the decision to vote on two things. The first of which was if we were going to join a MAT. The second vote was to choose which MAT we would like to proceed with if we chose to academise. 

The vote took place and the governors took the decision to become an academy and join a MAT.

The second vote for which MAT to proceed with took place, it was decided that we would investigate further joining True Learning Partnership.


Spring Term 2023 

The two MATs we had narrowed it down to were both invited into Bramhall High to present to our Governing Body and Senior Leaders. Both MATs presented and held a Q&A session with us.

Autumn Term 2022 

Our Chair of Governors and members of the Senior Leadership Team invited a number of MATs to engage in initial conversations, meetings took place, discussions were based around our key criteria (the non negotiables). 

After initial discussions had taken place the research group recommended further discussions with two potential MATs that were strong candidates to partner with. 

Our Journey Started

In September 2022 the governing body formed an academisation research group. The group set out to research multi academy trusts within the northwest of England. 

The research group researched a considerable amount of MATs and narrowed the list down by using a set of no negotiable criteria. 

Our criteria was:

1. Retain community identity 

2. Significant curriculum autonomy 

3. Join as part of a consortium with local primaries 

4. Maintain a focus on excellent student outcomes 

5. Maintain a strong pastoral system 

6. Allow BHS to maintain autonomy with staffing 

7. Terms and conditions of staff 

Frequently Asked Questions

The information below is intended to help answer some of the questions which may arise when considering conversion to academy status and joining a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT). As the  Governing Board of Bramhall High School, we are confident and positive that this is the best strategy for our school going forward.

This information cannot in any way replace the informal conversations and formal consultation that will take place during the conversion process.

What is an academy?

An academy is an all-ability school that is directly funded by central government and independent of direct control by local government. Academies are inspected by Ofsted under the same framework as maintained schools. Academies are self-governing

What is a Multi-Academy Trust?

A Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) is a charitable company limited by guarantee which is formed to oversee a group of schools who are academies. The MAT is the employer of staff and holds the land and buildings of each academy in Trust.

What is a Multi-Academy Trust?

A Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) is a charitable company limited by guarantee which is formed to oversee a group of schools who are academies. The MAT is the employer of staff and holds the land and buildings of each academy in Trust.

How does governance work?

There will be a Board of Trustees who are ultimately responsible for the work of the trust and the academies. However, they devolve much of the responsibility to the individual academies and their respective local governing board. Each academy has its own governing board who work with the academy Headteacher to check that the academy is making good progress and add additional challenge and scrutiny to the work of the school.

Why does our school have to join a MAT?

If schools are judged by Ofsted to be ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ they do not have to join a MAT if they don’t want to. Some are choosing to join MATs because of the benefits this brings but good and outstanding schools all have different reasons for joining or not joining a MAT. Those schools which are judged to be ‘Inadequate’ or have been judged as ‘Requires Improvement’ twice may receive an academy order from the Department for Education (DfE) and will have to plan and decide to join a MAT as soon as they can. Whilst judged as ‘Requires Improvement’ at our last inspection and we are not in receipt of any academy order from the DFE.

What is the main motivation for joining a Multi-Academy Trust?

  • We continue to remain in charge of our destiny
  • To shape the provision to meet the future needs of our children, families and community based on a local and collaborative proposal of working together and building on existing good practice
  • The Local Authority (LA) capacity is limited. Pooling the resources of a number of schools means we can re-create some of the services once received from the LA
  • To develop the expertise of all staff to further improve effectiveness and outcomes for children
  • To generate financial efficiencies to invest back into the classroom for the benefit of the children
  • To create opportunities to secure investment in school buildings and educational facilities for the benefit of current and future pupils, for example, the opportunity to apply for funding for refurbishment of our old buildings.

What parents and carers need to know?

  • The school is not proposing to change its character and will continue to look, feel and be the same as it is now.
  • The School Leadership Team and Governing Board will continue to run the school daily as they do now, and parents will continue to be represented on the Governing Board.
  • The name of the school will not change.
  • Students with special needs will continue to receive additional support in the way they do now.
  • In MAT arrangements, schools will share some central services which will help them be more efficient and make sure that funding is focused on teaching, learning and support for children.
  • The MAT will work very closely and co-operatively with local partners, including other schools, community groups and organisations as well as the LA.

Is an academy like a business?

No. A business makes profit for its shareholders. An academy is a charitable trust which cannot make profit.

Who makes the decision to become an academy?

The Governing Board. The Department for Education then approves the request. The timescale for conversion to an academy is difficult to predict but it is likely to be at least six months.

Does joining a MAT reduce autonomy?

In some respects, yes.

To ensure consistency in practise in schools in the MAT there may be changes to:

  • systems and operating procedures
  • the way in which data is collected
  • methods of assessment and reporting student progress
  • Human Resource operations

But not in every respect. Areas delegated to the school include:

  • culture and ethos
  • curriculum
  • uniform
  • enrichment clubs and activities
  • relationship with the community
  • local networks

Are academies bound by the same rules and regulations as other schools?

Academies are required to follow the law and guidance on admissions, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and exclusions.

Will there be any changes to the Curriculum?

No, the recent changes and work we have done with our curriculum will continue. We will continue

to ensure that what we teach is relevant to our students and their specific needs and continues to be

broad and balanced.

Does joining a MAT change our relationship with local schools and the community?

No. Academy funding agreements state that academies must ensure that they will be at the heart of

the community, collaborating and sharing facilities and expertise with other local schools and the

wider community. By being part of a MAT there is further support to ensure that we achieve our aims.

As an academy, will it still work with the LA?

Academies are independent of the LA, but as part of a MAT we will continue working

with the LA, other local schools and local partners.

Who will be responsible and pay for assessments of pupils/students with additional needs?

The LA retains the same statutory responsibility for students with SEND in academies as they would for a maintained school. We would continue to work closely with the LA to ensure that our SEND students are well provided for and to ensure that the LA meets their statutory commitments with regard to students.

Will the school remain non-selective?

Yes - academies are non-selective schools. Academies are required to follow the law and guidance on admissions, SEND and exclusions as if they were maintained schools.

Will there be a new uniform?

No. The True Learning Partnership encourage the individuality of each school therefore there are no plans to change the Uniform or current logo.

Will there still be a school bus network?

Yes – students arriving by bus will not notice any difference

Will my child still be able to claim free school meals?

Yes - there will be no change in the provision of free school

Will times of the day change?

Not as a result of academisation. Schools may change the shape of the school day due to other reasons.



Bramhall High School, Seal Road, Bramhall, Stockport, SK7 2JT

0161 439 8045