Control your school’s destiny: Forming or joining a group of schools

Written by: ASCL | Published:

With the government still focused on its academy agenda, a suite of complimentary resources has been published to help school leaders understand their options and plan their next move...

The national context for schools in England is changing at a rapid pace.

While the timeline set out last year for all school to become academies has been dropped by the government, there is still determination to see schools convert to academy status.

And with the role that local authorities play in providing school improvement and other services decreasing, schools are increasingly looking to each other for support and challenge.

So for schools looking towards greater collaboration and those exploring their options in terms of joining a multi-academy trust or forming a new MAT themselves, what support is on offer to help navigate the next steps?

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) offer a suite of complimentary resources to help school leaders understand their options and plan their next move.

The Staying in Control of your School’s Destiny series comprises of three separate resources each tailored to the decisions that you will be facing:

  • Staying in Control of your School’s Destiny: considering forming or joining a group of schools
  • Staying in Control of your School's Destiny: joining a multi-academy trust
  • Staying in Control of your School's Destiny: forming a multi-academy trust

Click here to access a complimentary copy of the guidance.

The resources help to answer many questions including:

  • What are the options in terms of structures of groups of schools?
  • What are the leadership and governance implications?
  • What challenges have schools encountered?
  • How do you choose the right partner school(s)?
  • What is due diligence and how do you go about it?
  • How do you ensure the right stakeholder engagement takes place?

To support schools that are considering joining or forming a MAT, ASCL is running seminars which will offer expert advice on the options available, what the process involves and how to make sure you make the right decision.

To find out more about these courses please click here.

Why are more and more primary headteachers joining ASCL?

School leaders are dealing with rising expectations and falling budgets, accountability measures, changes to curriculum and assessment, decisions about formal partnerships, teacher shortages, concerns over workload – not to mention the day job of providing a high-quality education.

It is essential that you have the support and protection of a professional association and union that understands these challenges and can offer the right support that is in your best interests.

"As we've been going through the conversion to a MAT I've had to make decisions that I had never considered before. Thankfully I joined ASCL early on in the process so I've been able to call on them for advice. I don't think that I would have got through this process (relatively!) unscathed if it hadn't been for guidance I've had."
Headteacher, North West

"As we’ve moved from a small individual school to join a group, I’ve found that having support from a union that not only understands the big picture but also can give you practical help with issues around staffing and finances is invaluable.”
Headteacher, London

“When we joined a MAT I was worried about own employment status but speaking to ASCL has been a big help. Among other advice they’ve checked my contract and flagged a couple of anomalies that I’m picking up to make sure that I’m better protected.”
Head of School, West Midlands

  • ASCL only represents senior leaders in schools and colleges. We act on behalf of our members and speak on behalf of children.
  • We employ a team of national education experts, including a dedicated primary education specialist, who influence policy and support individual members.
  • We offer dedicated support and guidance for every leadership role including those in executive and system leadership roles.
  • Our member support hotline, available 365 days a year, and our legal team support thousands of school leaders every year with school-based issues and personal employment concerns.

Further information

To find out more about all of the benefits of joining ASCL, click here.

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