What is an Academy Trust?


An academy is a state school that is run by an academy Trust and not the Local Authority. The academy Trust is a charitable body, which enters into an agreement with the Secretary of State for Education that sets out its responsibilities and accountabilities for the effective running of the academy. The academy is funded directly by the Government not through the Local Authority.


A Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) is where a number of schools join together and form a single Trust with a Board of Trustees answerable to the Trust’s Members. Members of the Trust are a group of independent people who are responsible for the strategic oversight of all Academies within the Trust. They are the conscience of the Trust, ensuring that the objectives are upheld and monitor the effectiveness of the individual Academies, manage central services and report to the Secretary of State. They work to ensure that individual Academies are performing to the best of their ability and that they get the support and challenge that they require. The MAT will have a Board of Directors which will include individuals from some of their member Academies. The Trust will delegate many powers to a local governing body (LGB) which will have a role similar to that of the current School governing body. These powers are agreed by both the school and the Trust.  The LGB will consist of the same governors as we have now.


Mission and Ethos

  • Diocesan MATs and their schools share the same mission: to nurture the whole child through encouraging them all to flourish as children of God - spiritually, morally, socially, culturally as well as academically.
  • Headteachers and governors trust their Diocese, already feel part of the Diocesan family and wish to extend this relationship by joining its MAT as a way of securing and strengthening the Christian ethos of their school.
  • Diocesan Boards of Education have a distinguished record of supporting Church schools over many years because of their creditable and respected Officers and Advisers.
  • In these uncertain times Diocesan MATs offer schools a strong sense of stability and continuity.

Collaboration Opportunities

  • Leaders and other staff can share thinking and planning with like-minded colleagues to spread expertise and tackle challenges together.
  • Shared professional development can more easily be arranged, whether led by staff from one of the MAT schools or an outside body.
  • Members of Local Governing Bodies can come together to share strategic thinking, combine skills and support each other during challenging times.
  • Leaders and other staff who have a common purpose can be shared across more than one school, enabling schools to find creative solutions to recruitment challenges, retain staff by providing new opportunities within the group and plan succession more effectively.

Pupil Outcomes

  • Evidence shows that the strong collaboration with shared accountability offered by MAT membership leads to better academic and other key outcomes for pupils and help schools meet the ever-rising external expectations.

Economies of Scale

  • MAT schools find it easier to recruit, share, fund and deploy specialist expertise (for example: data analysis, finance, health and safety) and provide richer curricular and extra-curricular activities. 
  • The economies of scale and collective purchasing made possible within larger groups help schools cope better with shrinking budgets.