A guide to MAT mergers for trust leaders and trusteesMAT mergers guidance cover

A merger combines two or more separate organisations into one single and distinct legal entity. This remains a fairly new concept for the English education system, characterised by a few large, well-established multi academy trusts (MATs) merging with smaller, less successful MATs. However, it is likely that voluntary mergers between MATs will become more prevalent as the education landscape continues to develop.

Mergers can provide a positive and strategic step forward to help secure the realisation of an organisation’s vision. The process can be lengthy and complex; not all come to fruition.

Download guide to MAT mergers (PDF)

This guide outlines the process for merging two MATs. It has been jointly developed by Browne Jacobson and the National Governance Association. Academy trust leaders and trustees can use this guide to:

  • explore why and how mergers are relevant to the education system in England today
  • understand how mergers can and should be approached in order to be successful
  • develop a shared understanding between trustees and executive leaders of the merger process and what’s involved

Shared values, strong relationships: experience of a MAT merger

Edward Vitalis, Chief Operating Officer, Bright Futures Educational Trust shared his experience and reflections on a recent merger in a guest blog.

Read the blog

Government drive for strong trusts

In 2021, the government set out a vision “for every school to be part of a family of schools in a strong multi academy trust”. It was stated the government would be investing in “strong multi academy trusts…so they can support even more schools”, with a focus on the “strongest leaders” taking responsibility for more schools.

Academy trust mergers are a key element of the Department for Education (DfE) focus on strong trusts, as captured in their Building strong academy trusts guidance. The guidance includes an expectation that trusts will “grow by consolidating with other academy trusts”, stating that “increasingly, small academy trusts are choosing to join (or merge) together to form a bigger academy trust which can effect greater change across the area”.

Further reading

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