Michael Wilshaw: the characteristics of high performing MATs

In his latest commentary, Ofsted Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw reflects on the characteristics of high performing MATs. Using focused inspections of seven “stronger performers”, Sir Michael states that successful trusts tend to have the following as key characteristics:

  • ability to recruit and retain high quality executive leaders
  • a well-planned, broad and balanced curriculum
  • commitment to providing high quality education for all pupils
  • investment in professional development of teachers and sharing of expertise
  • high priority given to initial teacher training and leadership development
  • clear frameworks of governance, accountability and delegation
  • effective use of assessment information
  • and a cautious and considered approach to expansion

Source: NGA Newsletter 14/10/2016

Evidence for the benefits of formal school collaborations

Reference: ‘Forming or Joining a Group of Schools: staying in control of your school’s destiny‘. National Governors Association. September 2015

The words below are largely direct quotes from the reference.

The Education Select Committee undertook two, large-scale enquiries into school partnerships and structures in 2015. These form a significant body of evidence for the benefits of strong collaborations and shared accountability between schools. Here are findings from the first report, School Partnerships and Cooperation:

Continue reading “Evidence for the benefits of formal school collaborations”

Considerations when looking for MAT partners

Reference: ‘Forming or Joining a Group of Schools: staying in control of your school’s destiny‘. National Governors Association. September 2015

Vision and ethos. How successfully can the group of schools create a shared ethos?

School type. Only academies can form or join a MAT. Maintained schools wishing to form or join a MAT can convert to academy status and join the MAT at the same time.

Geographical proximity. There is no legal requirement for schools in a group to be in close geographical proximity and there are examples of successful MATs with schools many miles apart. Emerging evidence, however, suggests that the benefits of collaboration are much easier to realise when schools are physically close (Lord Nash, minister with responsibility for academies, suggested that groups should ideally consist of schools between which staff could travel in ‘half a lunch break’). MATs in which schools are geographically dispersed usually seek to introduce a tier of regional governance and oversight, through a regional executive role on the trust board and/or regional committees.

Phase. Groups can be primary-only, secondary-only or cross-phase and can include special schools. There is some evidence that cross-phase groups are more likely to be successful, although this is not universal.

Religious character. Schools with a designated religious character have some restrictions placed on them by their religious authority.