We identified 11 key issues in our original multi academy trust (MAT) governance report, Moving MATs Forward, in 2019. One was organisational identity; we identified that failure to understand MATs as single organisations had been one of the major hurdles for the MAT system since its inception. This is still a prevalent issue and one with governance at its heart.
The reality is schools want to protect their individual character. A research report published by the DfE in November 2021 on the benefits and obstacles of joining a MAT showed that 77% of schools were concerned about losing their identity. The research illustrated schools’ concerns that they would be forced to take on a ‘homogeneous’ identity that would threaten the individual traditions and heritage valued by their communities.