Multi-academy trusts are one of the key strands of the Government’s plans to drive up standards in education and achieve their goals in literacy and numeracy.
‘Opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers for your child’ Schools White Paper, March 2022
In this week’s Queen’s speech, the Government announced the introduction of the Schools Bill – designed to “help every child fulfil their potential wherever they live” and improve the quality of UK schools. Also included in the Bill were plans to encourage all schools to become academies by 2030 – giving local authorities the ability to run multi-academy trusts.
This will mean a major change to the educational landscape.
According to the recent white paper, there are currently around 10,000 academies in the UK – 87% of which are part of an academy trust. However, only 44% of mainstream schools are currently academies.
The future change from mainstream schools to academies is expected to be delivered through the growth of existing trusts and the establishment of new trusts, including local authority trusts.
There are hot debates around the subject of academies and academy trusts – inevitably new ideas bring with them proponents and critics.
But, debate aside, there are very real, practical considerations likely to be faced by multi-academy trusts in the future.
MATs vary in size from 2 schools up to large chains with 50+ schools, though the majority contain up to 20. There are discussions around the optimal number but developing and maintaining a strong sense of cohesion between any number of schools may be a challenge.
And, as current MATs expand with the addition of new schools and brand new MATs are formed, retaining the quality of education and supporting teachers and pupils will be paramount.
For Elastik the most important part of this debate is ensuring all schools are able to access the right resources to support their students and teachers.
We work with Local Authority schools as well as schools within Multi-Academy Trusts – and they are all looking for solutions that will enable them to take a more evidence-based approach to learning.
That doesn’t mean simply focusing on what can be measured – it means identifying and responding to the specific learning gaps faced by the children in a class or school – or trust.
A centralised solution like Elastik enables you to track pupil progress across multiple schools – giving pupils the best possible start in life:
- The ability to view learning data right across the trust so that schools can collaborate and build on each other’s strengths.
- Forward planning that helps streamline the transition from KS2 to KS3 – enabling secondary schools to understand the needs of their new Year 7s before they start.
- Being able to drill down into learning gaps to allow teachers in every school to understand, connect with, and support their students as individuals – minimising the risk of children getting left behind as academies grow in size.
Understanding the whole picture will enable you to share staff, expertise and effective teaching practices so that academies can work together to deliver the best outcomes for pupils.
Whatever the future holds for education in the UK – however our children’s education is delivered – we all need to ensure that students have the opportunity to grow, develop and thrive. To “help every child fulfil their potential wherever they live”.