Tom Fellows

Author: Tom Fellows

25/10/2019 14:42:59

Released this week, Welcome to a Multi Academy Trust (MAT)  for those sitting on the MAT board of trustees, is the third edition of this popular National Governance Association guide. The new guide can be purchased by NGA members at the heavily discounted rate of £8 per copy and, in this blog, I am delighted to offer you a summary of why this resource is essential reading for newly appointed MAT trustees.

Why read Welcome to a MAT?

Welcome to a MAT sits alongside NGA’s other longstanding induction guide, Welcome to Governance, which is designed for new school governors, trustees of single academy trusts and those governing at a local level in a MAT. However, while the principles and functions of governance remain the same regardless of school structure (and, indeed, regardless of industry or sector), “how governance is done” is very different in MATs. Welcome to a MAT helps new trustees navigate the very different and often complex world of MAT governance.  

Like previous years, the new edition of Welcome to a MAT comes packed full of the information MAT trustees need to do their job effectively. This includes practical, step-by-step information on the legal responsibilities and implications of MAT governance, helping you and your board navigate your way through the legal framework in which MATs operate. The guide is tailored to be accessible to new MAT trustees from all professional backgrounds. Those new to education can find everything they need to understand the often taken-for-granted language used in education, including a glossary of commonly used acronyms, an overview of the state school sector in England and the role of external agencies. The document is laid out so that those who already know this information, such as serving or retired education professionals, can easily navigate their way to guidance and practical advice concerning areas they may not know about – such as MAT growth, financial management, oversight and scrutiny. The new edition of Welcome to a MAT also includes the latest updates from government, including revisions to the Governance Handbook, Academies Financial Handbook and the Ofsted framework.

As well as containing all of the information outlined above, Welcome to a MAT goes beyone being a descriptive guide. The content is interweaved with careful analysis and clear recommendations drawn from the latest cutting-edge research and thought leadership on how to make MAT governance effective. In short, Welcome to a MAT won’t just help you govern your MAT, it will help you govern your MAT effectively to ensure the best outcomes for pupils in the schools you oversee.

In terms of offering this insight into effective MAT governance, this third edition comes at an exciting time for NGA. Over the past year NGA has been taking stock of the extensive evidence gathered around MAT governance, including from our external reviews of MAT governance, our series of MAT case-studies, over a decade of experience engaging with the sector, a series of high-profile MAT roundtables and three years of Community MAT networks reaching out to and working with hundreds of different trusts. The learning we have gleaned from this evidence based was collated within our Moving MATs Forward: the Power of Governance report, released last year. Welcome to a MAT translates many of the findings from this extensive report into easy to digest and practical recommendations. It also draws upon NGA guidance specific to MATs which is leading the sector thinking on topic such as executive pay, the role of members and joining and forming a group of schools.

Buy Welcome to a MAT now

Buy Welcome to a MAT now! If you are an NGA member, remember to login to the website to receive a 50% discount on the price.

What else is available?

While a fantastic introduction to MAT governance, it is not possible to include everything MAT trustees should know. NGA members can access the extensive range of guidance for MATs, detailed above, on the Knowledge Centre. NGA also offer bespoke training options for MATs as part of its training and consultancy offer and a vast range of modules through online training platform, LearningLink, to help MAT trustees develop in their roles. Government funded training programmes for MAT trustees are also available through NGA’s Leading Governance programme.

For those who value networking with other trustees, as well as want to hear from the biggest names in education and governance and key decision makers involved in MAT governance, you may be interested in NGA’s Community MATs network. To participate, MAT members are welcome to claim their complimentary places at the first NGA community MATs conference in Birmingham on 15 November where delegates will hear from Dominic Herrington, national school commissioner, and Eleanor Southwood, Chair of Royal National Institute of Blind People amongst, a wealth of other practitioners and experts delivering workshops throughout the day. Book now to avoid disappointment as places are limited and there are only a few spaces left.

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