Multi Academy Trust
WHAT IS A MULTI ACADEMY TRUST?
Over the last twelve months the Governing Body have been considering whether FGS should continue to operate as a Single Academy Trust (SAT) or look to form a Multi Academy Trust (MAT). There are currently many challenges facing schools and the Government is encouraging academies to look to the long term benefits offered by creating a MAT. The majority of academies are members of a MAT and the Regional Schools Commissioner herself has recommended that we consider this. The FGS Governors have agreed that it would be in the best interests of the school community to explore this option further.
A multi-academy trust (MAT) is a single organisation established to improve and maintain high educational standards across a number of member schools. Through collaboration and partnership the member schools are able to share expertise and resources. A MAT has responsibility for the overall governance, finance and performance of the member schools.
WHY DO WE WANT TO FORM A MULTI ACADEMY TRUST?
MATs provide the opportunity to share skills and resources providing for greater efficiencies and opportunities to retain and develop our best staff.
As a main focus, we want to secure academic success for the long term future at FGS and help other schools reach the same high standards. Our experience and proven outcomes mean FGS are very well placed to lead a group of schools and fulfil a moral purpose to benefit more students.
The ability to develop and retain talented staff is paramount and being the founder of a MAT allows us to offer staff more enhanced and challenging roles which will in turn allow us to develop and retain these staff. FGS has an excellent team of ambitious, hard-working staff securing outstanding results in many areas - it is imperative for the future of the school that we are able to retain these staff and develop them further as senior leaders.
We are seeking to be financially sustainable and within the current economic climate, there is an imperative to seek the financial benefits that come with being in a MAT such as access to funding, grants and potential savings in business services and other costs. This will allow for more resources to be made available to our students.
WHY DO WE WANT TO FORM A MAT WITH THE EDEN SCHOOLS ACADEMY TRUST (ESAT)?
The rationale for forming a MAT is outlined above. However the FGS Governors consider it of the utmost importance to collaborate with a partner that will bring additional benefits and opportunities for our school community. The networks, expertise and partnerships that will be made available to the school by forming a MAT with the Eden Schools Academy Trust (ESAT) go way beyond those offered in standard MAT models.
FGS will be the lead school in a joint MAT. Their board and trustees are composed of high level professionals including the Dean and Director of Education and Quality of Health Education England, the Managing Director in the Global Advisory Division of Rothschild & Co, and the CEO of the Sixth Form Colleges’ Association. ESAT’s Patron is the Lord Viscount Slim and the Trust enjoys the support of a wide and influential network both regionally and nationally.
ESAT and the DfE have identified FGS as an ideal lead school to deliver the aims of the new MAT and to become the premier and flagship school in the MAT. This will allow FGS to share the governance of the MAT, working in partnership to shape the future direction of the Trust. The alternative option of joining an existing MAT (which already has member schools) would not provide this unique opportunity.
Both organisations have a firm belief in the importance and significance of health and well-being (physical and emotional) on academic outcomes for young people. The partnerships the school has developed over the last 10 years with the Youth Sports Trust (YST) and the Outward Bound Trust (OBT) have provided significant opportunities for FGS students this would be extended to all students within the MAT. Statistics demonstrate that students who take part in the OBT programme at FGS get better external examination results.
ESAT focus on developing career pathways for students into healthcare and this ties in with developments at FGS. Over the last few years FGS has worked in partnership with Trafford College on a variety of post 16 programmes. This has had a significant impact on outcomes for FGS students at both post 16 and post 17, dramatically reducing the number of students becoming classified as not in education or employment or NEET.
The focus for the A level programme is on career pathways and many students go into health-related university courses. The benefits proposed by ESAT for students within the MAT are considerable. The school is passionate about facilitating social mobility and the opportunities for work experience and mentoring in the health sector would be truly invaluable.
The ESAT/FGS MAT also provides an opportunity to develop some of the school’s long-held beliefs in improving the health of the community to secure better outcomes for young people. The school will become a focal point in the community to provide many fringe services as outlined in our mission for the Flixton Well Woman Trust which was set up in 2010 for women, families and the WHOLE community.
WHAT WILL STAY THE SAME AT FGS?
There will be few visible changes at FGS as a result of the formation of the MAT:
• Mrs Hazeldine will remain as the Headteacher of FGS and will also assume responsibility as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the MAT
• The school name and school uniform will not change as a result of the MAT being formed
• The school’s current admissions policy will not be affected
• The length of the school day and term times will remain the same.
WHAT WILL CHANGE AT FGS?
The school and students will see sustained benefits upon formation of the MAT:
• Stronger governance on strategy, performance, leadership, teaching standards and finance
• To add value to our teaching and learning through working in formal partnership with other good and outstanding schools who will join the MAT in time
• Access to national and international networks and partners
• Access to enhanced Youth Sport Trust programmes
• Enhanced support for career pathways such as medicine, pharmacology, midwifery, nursing and dentistry in the NHS and other healthcare providers as well as a host of other related careers
• Significant opportunities and additional resources for students and staff to access enhanced support for their physical and emotional health and wellbeing.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Following the consultation period all feedback and comments has been considered and I am pleased to inform you that the Governors have voted to go ahead with the conversion.
We will be working closely with all our stakeholders in the coming months and we will keep you all informed of the progress we are making,
I look forward to your continued support at this exciting time for the whole of FGS.
Mrs Julie Hazeldine
Flixton Girls School