FAQs

General information about Multi Academy Trusts
What is a Multi Academy Trust?
  • 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.
How does being an academy differ from being a local authority maintained school?
  • Academies within a MAT receive funding directly from the government and are run by the academy trust. The MAT has more control over how they do things than local authority schools, for example they do not have to follow the national curriculum and can set their own term times.
  • Academies are inspected by Ofsted just the same as local authority schools. They have to follow the same rules on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as other schools and students sit the same exams.
  • Academy trusts are not-for-profit companies. They employ the staff, rather than the local authority and have trustees who are responsible for the performance of the academies in the trust
What are the key benefits of being a member of a MAT?
  • Sharing of expertise at all levels across schools – leadership, teaching and support staff
  • High quality and joint staff professional development
  • Freeing up head teachers to focus on the teaching and learning in school
  • Improved career progression for talented staff, allowing us to recruit and retain high quality people
  • Financial savings around procurement due to bulk purchasing of goods and services
  • Shared central office support, saving money and providing financial security and value
Do schools have a choice about becoming part of a MAT?
  • At this moment, yes. It is up to the Governing Board to decide whether they feel it is in the interests of their school community to join a MAT.
  • Current Government thinking suggests that the move towards academisation will gain impetus over the coming year. In April 2021, the Secretary of State for Education set out the government’s vision “for every school to be part of a family of schools in a strong multi academy trust” (MAT). Gavin Williamson MP said that the Department for Education (DfE) will be looking to make the process of joining a multi academy trust as easy as possible”.
Why Consider Joining Together Learning Partnership?

We are keen to expand our Partnership and to add to our family of schools to continue to build a strong, successful, and sustainable Multi-Academy Trust (MAT). We want schools to join us that have a similar ethos and values to our own, and who genuinely believe that true collaboration and a strong commitment to working together will provide our children with the best opportunities for their future lives.

We are focused on continuing our development into a strong, Primary Multi-Academy Trust, that provides our children with the best educational experience.

Are you a Primary school with a similar outlook?

Do you believe in strong collaborative working?

Does your school have unique qualities that can add even more to our Trust provision and strengthen further our off er to pupils and families?

If your school community is considering joining a MAT and would like to know more about what that could mean for your children, staff , parents and governors, please look through this brochure – and to fi nd out even more, why not get in touch? Contact details are included, or check out our websites for a flavour of our schools and partnership.

What would be the benefits for our school community if we joined Together Learning Partnership?

Becoming a member of our MAT would be a commitment to working closely together, striving to ensure that all our children receive the highest quality education during their time with us.

 

For your Children

  • A commitment to providing high quality teaching and learning – through a wellplanned, engaging curriculum – from Early Years to the end of Key Stage 2.
  • A wealth of experiences and opportunities, in and out of school – social, cultural, educational… and most of all enjoyable!
  • Pastoral support from experienced professionals within our MAT and, where needed, from external professionals.
  • The chance to interact with other children from our family of schools and share learning, challenges and excitement!
  • Access to wider curriculum opportunities and expertise, sharing skills across the Trust.
 

For Staff

  • Collaboration with others – sharing the workload and supporting each other in their role.
  • High quality professional development from experts in the fi eld of education and from leading practitioners across the MAT.
  • Moderation opportunities that are supportive and lead to improved outcomes.
  • Coaching experiences that show us that we are forever learning and refl ecting on our classroom practice.
  • Support from experienced colleagues in all aspects of their role – classroom teacher, subject leader, SEN provider etc.
  • Career opportunities across the MAT to share knowledge, expertise and support career development.
 

For School Improvement

  • Experienced senior leaders with a proven background in school improvement, working across schools, in all phases, to ensure staff are supported to deliver the highest quality teaching and learning experiences for our children.
  • External collaboration with established partners in the education fi eld ensure that our schools are well placed to share the expertise, knowledge and best possible outcomes for our children.

 

For your Central Services

  • We strongly believe that school leaders need the freedom to do what they do best – secure  the best possible teaching and learning provision for our pupils, so we provide high quality central services.
  • Behind-the-scenes support, that can often be all consuming for school leaders, is provided by our central team. The team is dynamic and will continue to develop and evolve as the Trust grows.
  • Services provided include all aspects of school support – Finance and Budget monitoring, Human Resources, Health and Safety, Legal Advice, Governance and Compliance, IT, Procurement, Building/Estates Management and School Improvement.
  • Costs for the services are calculated according to school need and school size.
    Best value and high-quality are assured.
 

For your Future

  • The opportunity to play a prominent part in our Trust growth. Help to mould and shape our Trust from where it is now, to achieve our vision of being a strong, Primary Trust in
    the North-East.
  • Add your expertise to our current school improvement capacity that already has a proven track record in enhancing the lives of children across all pupil groups.
  • Join us in improving the futures of all children across the primary range – with consistently high achievement in all core areas and the ambition for continuous improvement through  positive collaboration.
  • Significant retained autonomy for your school in maintaining community interaction, representing local requirements and a key local presence.
As a well-established, ambitious Trust, we are keen to work with all of our schools collaboratively.
Every new member school will bring the Trust an opportunity to improve and share more good practice.
What about our School – what would change?
Governance
  • The MAT is governed by a Board of Trustees, who are in turn accountable to the MAT’s Members. Each school within the Trust retains its own Local Governing Body (LGB) who continue to act in the best interests of their school. The Board regularly undertakes self-review and is always willing to consider new members joining – particularly if they can add to the skills needed to strengthen governance of the MAT.
  • Each LGB has decision making powers outlined in the MAT’s Scheme of Delegation – available on the Trust website. Local Governors continue to have a key role in shaping their school developments, budget priorities and staffi ng structure. Collaboration between the Board and each school’s LGB is valued and encouraged. Local Governors know their school and community best, and this is considered a strength of our Trust.
 
Finance
  • The Board of Trustees is responsible for managing the finances of the whole Trust. Each school has its own budget that is provided by central government. The LGB of each school continue to identify budget priorities, alongside the Head Teacher, and the annual budget is presented to the Trustees for fi nal approval. A partnership fee is paid to the Trust to provide essential central service such as HR, insurance, payroll, fi nance, I.T. etc., in much in the same way as service level agreements are arranged with the local authority. The amount paid for these services is agreed on conversion and refl ects the size and capacity of each school. This is reviewed annually by the Board of Trustees.
 
Conversion
  • Costs and legal expenses are incurred but the Department for Education provide a conversion grant which covers these costs.
 
Staff
  • Current staff transfer over to the Trust on a TUPE – Transfer of Undertakings (Protection
    of Employment) Regulations basis. This protects their terms and conditions and is all handled during the conversion process. Staff are fully consulted throughout.
 
Senior Leadership and Head Teacher
  • Our current schools retain their own Head Teacher and Leadership team and are fully supported by our Trust Chief Executive Officer, Trust Business Manager/Chief Finance Offi cer and School Improvement Partners.
 
Our Identity
  • Your own school’s identity, ethos and community are an important part of your school and this will be important to our Trust too. An agreement to join our MAT is made jointly and it is highly likely that our vision, values and ethos, and yours, are very closely aligned.

Further independent information is readily available from the National Governance Association (membership of which is included in our Trust offer for each member of your Local Governing Body) https://www.nga.org.uk/Home.aspx

Join Our Trust

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