Skip to content ↓

Join our Trust

What is a Multi Academy Trust? (MAT)

A group of academies who are working together to achieve the best outcomes for children. The schools are linked formally through governance and legal status; having a single board of Trustees.

What are the key benefits of being in a MAT?

  • Sharing of expertise and joint staff professional development

  • Greater capacity to grow and develop our own leaders

  • Freeing up Heads to focus on the bits that really matter

  • the MAT model offers a school the potential to retain its unique characteristics and maintain its own local governing body

  • Improved career progression for talented staff, allowing us to recruit and retain high quality employees

  • Significant financial benefits are achieved by centralising services and focusing funds where they are most needed

Will we be able to improve the services and support that we offer children and their families?

Children and families should directly benefit from a school’s membership of a MAT through an improved capacity to establish support services such as speech and language, occupational therapy, pastoral care, family support and educational psychology.

What will this actually mean for the staff and families of a school joining a MAT?

Life continues as usual with the ethos, values, uniform, and culture of the school remaining independent and unchanged.

Will a school lose control of its own budget?

Thrive Education Partnership has a Chief Financial Officer & Trust Business Manager, who between them have the overview of all financial & business matters and are expected to provide savings through procurement, income generation and efficiency. At local level, schools still make decisions about how they spend their own budget and reserves are retained by the school for contingency and future projects.

How are central services paid for?

Schools will not be charged with a one size fits all top slice but instead will be charged proportionally to the school’s level of need and size. This charge would include a general contribution to allow the MAT to operate so a smaller school pays less. The charge would be within the range of 6% to 7.5% of annual income and most schools will see a net financial gain with this arrangement. We expect to build the financial model together with our future partners and the transition to a top slice situation may take place over an extended period. We provide central services including a CEO, Deputy CEO, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Trust Business Manager, Director of Education, Head of HR, and IT strategic network management.

Will a school’s funding and budget be used to support another school?


How much support will be given for the process of academy conversion?

The process will be handled through the MAT together with our professional partners and legal teams.

Will our school staff end up working in a partner school?

This is possible but only if existing staff choose to do this to further their career. New staff recruited once the school is a member of the MAT would be employed by the MAT. Leaders would always take account of preferences, experience, and physical location before suggesting a move.

Will the current Headteacher of a school remain in charge and retain their status and position and responsibility?

This is the job heads are paid for and they will be left to continue to do it. They will however be passing on some parts of the job to the central team such as aspects of finance, estates, HR and Health and Safety. Indeed, Headteachers will probably find that they have greater autonomy than under Local Authority control.

Who would carry out Headteacher appraisal?

This will currently be carried out by the CEO, Deputy CEO or Director of Education

What about career progression for a Headteacher?

As our trust grows it is likely that future Executive Head opportunities may arise, along with opportunities to work alongside a greater ranger of colleagues.

Is there a separate OFSTED inspection for a partner school?

Yes, schools would be inspected separately, however each school will receive support throughout the inspection process. Once a school academises it is considered to be a ‘new school’ and is typically not inspected by OFSTED for two years.

Will our governing body lose status and the power to make decisions affecting our school?

We have maintained and encourage active and challenging Local Governing Bodies in each Academy, and they are delegated significant responsibilities.

We also have a MAT central team of officers who have established common business platforms and procedures for all MAT schools. This team drives efficiencies and economies of scale, whilst at the same time ensuring all schools continue to work within the framework we have established.

What is the bigger picture both locally and nationally?

Local authorities have a diminishing role with vast cuts in the services and support they provide. Gavin Williamson’s speech (Education Secretary speech to the Confederation of School Trusts - GOV.UK ( to the Confederation of School Trusts on 28th April 2021 clearly laid out the Governments future agenda that all maintained schools and Single Academy Trusts (SATs) will be encouraged to join  a strong MAT in the future.

The Government announced through its white paper in May 2022, that all schools should become part of a ‘family of schools in a strong trust to level up school standards.’  It is clear that all maintained schools will need to actively seek to become part of a trust.

Make an enquiry or booking

We are now taking bookings, in confidence, for interested parties to come and see our schools, meet our teams and generally find out more about the vision and values of Thrive Education Partnership.

Please email for more details.