Multi Academy Trust

The County High School, Leftwich is due to join the Sir John Brunner Foundation in September 2019.

In 2016, the Governors of The County High School, Leftwich determined that this Single Academy Trust (a SAT) would begin the process of converting to a Multi-Academy Trust (a MAT called the Leftwich Learning Trust). The process became protracted, but the Academy made a successful application and was awarded Sponsor MAT status in April 2018. This meant the Regional Schools' Commissioner recognised the Academy's ability to offer improvement advice and guidance to other academies in a Multi-Academy Trust.

In response to the Government's review of post-16 provision nationally, Sir John Deane's Sixth Form College decided to take the opportunity to become an academy. The Regional Schools' Commissioner's preferred position at this time was to establish MATs rather than SATs, so the College set up the Sir John Brunner Foundation and sought potential partners.

Parents and carers will be very aware that The County High School, Leftwich and Sir John Deane's College have always cultivated a strong working partnership in the very best interests of our students, the majority of whom transition extremely smoothly to the College, post 16. That transition is made more straightforward because already we have shared values and shared approaches to teaching and learning that achieve high academic outcomes, alongside varied and enriching extra-curricular activities. This approach safeguards the well-being of our students by promoting enjoyment as well as achievement, balancing appropriate challenge with care and support, so they maximise their potential academically and socially.

It has thus become a logical next step for the "outstanding" secondary academy and the "outstanding" College in Northwich to pursue the possibility of affirming their partnership in a legally binding, strong and financially resilient MAT, which could thereby provide an excellent education for all Northwich learners, ready to welcome other academies into our Trust if they share our values.

What is a Multi-Academy Trust?
A Multi-Academy Trust (or MAT ) is a group of academies under a single governance structure. That structure consists of an overarching Trust in which Members appoint a Board of Directors. The Directors are responsible for setting the vision, policies and priorities for all the academies within the Trust. Each academy can retain its own local governing body (or committee), which oversees the implementation of the Trust's vision, policies and priorities.

What are the potential benefits of a MAT?
We share the opinions, often expressed, that:

  • in a formal collaboration, schools are better able to help each other meet rising expectations;
  • academy leaders, teachers and other staff can share thinking and planning to spread expertise and tackle challenges together to achieve high quality outcomes for all learners in the MAT;
  • teachers and non-teachers can more easily access professional development, sharing knowledge and expertise across a strong network of constituent schools;
  • academy leaders , teachers and other staff can be shared across more than one academy, enabling schools to find different solutions at times of recruitment challenges and to retain staff by providing new opportunities within the group and so plan succession more effectively by securing future talent;
  • in challenging financial times, economies of scale, for example through group purchasing, are possible;
  • groups of academies can find it easier to fund specialist expertise and so provide richer curricular and extra-curricular activities.