Skip to content
School structures

The road to federation

Report exploring motivation to consider federation, the perceived benefits and governors’ experiences

vision of the future straight road

A federation is where two or more maintained schools come together under one governing board, often appointing an executive headteacher, who has overall responsibility for schools in the federation. 

This research explores what motivates governing bodies to consider federation, the perceived benefits, and governors’ experiences of the federation process.

Research overview

This research looked at the following key questions:

  • What are the drivers of the formation of federations/multi academy trusts?
  • Who is involved in the decision-making process, and how do they influence the decision?
  • What are the barriers, perceived and actual?

Key findings

  • Governing bodies reported uncertainty and difficulty locating information about the federation process.
  • The role of executive leader was widely recognised as highly important.
  • The majority of boards consulted extensively with stakeholders.
  • Every participant said the federation process had been beneficial.
  • Federation remains an attractive option for schools.

Related content