Latest Update - Initial FAQs
The information in this fact sheet 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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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