primary & secondary education

Raising Multi-Academy Trust Standards and Attainment Levels

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 15:40

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Central London

This Forum provides an opportunity for participants to discuss the best methods for raising standards and attainment within multi-academy trusts. Attendees will hear from Ofsted and senior leaders from across MAT’s who are delivering outstanding levels of education and truly transformative results for their pupils. Furthermore, attendees will have the opportunity to hear in-depth best practice case studies covering the three pillars of MAT success including effective governance, financial management and leadership.


This Forum is specifically designed for Academies. Typical job titles will include:

  • Headteachers
  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Principals
  • Chair of Governors
  • Deputy and Assistant Headteachers
  • School Governors
  • Board of Trustees Members
  • Directors of Education
  • Trustees
  • Business Managers
  • Directors of Standards
  • Heads of School Improvement

This Forum is also open to the Private Sector to encourage discussion and networking.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Leora Crudas, CEO, Confederation of School Trusts
  • Jon Andrews, Director for School System and Performance, Deputy Head of Research, Education Policy Institute
  • Stuart Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, The Thinking Schools Academy Trust
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Stephen Chamberlain, Chief Executive, Challenger Multi Academy Trust (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Exploring the Future of the Multi-Academy Trust Landscape

  • Assessing the DfE MAT Development Programme 2018 guidance on how executive teams can improve teaching standards and pupil outcomes
  • Exploring the role that data will play in evaluating the effectiveness of MATs, both quantitative and qualitative
  • Examining the role that the Regional School Commissioners (RSC) play in assessing and improving new and existing Multi-Academy Trusts
  • Highlighting the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that academies should be monitoring, such as teacher retention and pupil attendance

Mike Pettifer, Director, Academies and Maintained Schools Group, Department for Education (invited)


Special Keynote: Outlining Changes to the Way in Which Multi-Academy Trusts are Evaluated- Ofsted Summary Evaluations

  • Exploring the recent updates to the Ofsted Inspection Framework and the impact that this will have on Multi-Academy Trusts
  • Examining how summary evaluations will be carried out including telephone surveys, on-site visits to individual academies within a MAT and an on-site visit with MAT leaders
  • Understanding how summary evaluations will clarify the role a MAT plays in school improvement and illuminate any misconceptions by evaluating the educational effectiveness of the MAT through using a combination of academy inspections and head office inspections
  • Highlighting how MAT Summary Evaluations will explore how trusts create and implement policies through evaluating the impact they have on teaching and learning provisions

Matthew Purves, Deputy Director, Schools, Ofsted (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Designing an Evidence-Based, Broad and Balanced Curriculum

  • Implementing a ‘thinking approach’ to learning by designing curricular that supports pupils monitoring their own progress
  • Exploring how the Thinking School Academy Trust implemented an evidence-based approach to curriculum design
  • Highlighting how the inclusion of Thinking Maps into the curriculum across the MAT has helped to improve students confidence in learning by providing a method for students to present and discuss their ideas
  • Discussing how the implementation of structured learning techniques has allowed students to focus on the content rather than the method of learning and how this leaves more time to build knowledge and understanding

Stuart Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, The Thinking Schools Academy Trust (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Implementing Outstanding Teaching and Learning Practices Throughout a Multi-Academy Trust

  • Implementing a culture of collaboration across the Bourne Education Trust to share best practice and resources with the aim of raising teaching and learning standards 
  • Highlighting how the trust were able to achieve outstanding writing and maths skills across KS2 learners in its 7 primary schools through the creation of a balanced but challenging curriculum 
  • Exploring how the emphasis on professional development within the trust helps to deliver outstanding teaching and learning through teacher development and innovate learning techniques 
  • Outlining the core aims of the Bourne Education Trust including providing supportive learning environments to close the attainment gap 

Alex Russell, Chief Executive Officer, Bourne Education Trust (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Working in Collaboration to Raise Multi-Academy Trust Standards Through Effective MAT Assessment

  • Outlining how the Confederation of School Trusts (CST) will work in partnership with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to help raise standards in MATs
  • Discussing the proposed principles for a MAT assessment from the CST model that will focus on the effectiveness of governance of a trust, including the quality of education
  • Exploring how regulators can work in collaboration to make comprehensive assessments of trusts in the UK through the use of existing data
  • Highlighting how this collaborative approach aims to improve MAT standards by making valid and reliable assessments of the current quality of education that the trust is providing so they can take effective action

Leora Crudas, CEO, Confederation of School Trusts (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Outlining the Key Characteristics of High-Performing Multi Academy Trusts

  • Defining what is measured when identifying a successful trust, including pupil progress, attainment and whether they have a sustainable central governance function
  • Highlighting the findings from the Quantitative Analysis of the Characteristics and Performance of Multi-Academy Trusts 2017 report including identifying a range of characteristics evident across a variety of multi-academy trusts
  • Illuminating myths about how location can effect the success of a MAT, and the impact that clustering and isolation have on a variety of high-performing MAT’s
  • Exploring the link between MAT growth and performance including the effect this can have on reading and writing skills during key stage 2 and above

Jon Andrews, Director for School System and Performance, Deputy Head of Research, Education Policy Institute (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Effectively Utilising Outstanding Financial Management to Improve Education Standards

  • Exploring the implications of delivering integrated curriculum financial planning (ICFP) and how this helps MATs to efficiently deploy teachers
  • Discussing how Inspiration Trust implemented ICFP across its 13 schools
  • Outlining how MATs can use the ICFP metrics to monitor staff workload and ensure they are able to deliver the curriculum effectively with outstanding results
  • Highlighting how integrated curriculum financial planning led to Inspiration Trust being able to create over £2 million in efficiency savings

Adrian Ball, Chief Operating Officer, Inspiration Trust (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Delivering Outstanding Governance and Leadership in a Multi-Academy Trust

  • Understanding the importance of maintaining a close relationship between a chief executive and principals of individual academies within a multi-academy trust and how this ensures a consistent level of leadership across all academies within a trust
  • Outlining the vital role that trustees play in advising on key policies within a MAT and the importance of ensuring trustees have relevant experience to guide the direction of the trust
  • Discussing the active role that The Trust Board should take in monitoring the day-to-day activities within a trust through establishing a Standards Committee to monitor staff recruitment, retention and performance across all trust academies
  • Exploring how the De Ferrers Trust provided continued professional development to all governors and directors to ensure that they are able to effectively advice and consult on complex educational policies and challenges

Ian McNeilly, Chief Executive, The De Ferrers Trust (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

Over three quarters of academies are now part of a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) and it is important that these MATs are providing the best quality of teaching and learning standards for their pupils in order to obtaining outstanding exam results and close the attainment gap. The number of academies becoming a MAT is growing, with the largest 13 MAT’s managing 26 or more schools.

It is vital that MATs are providing outstanding teaching and learning standards for its pupils to ensure all children receive an outstanding education. With Multi-Academy Trust Summary Evaluations announced in December 2018 in Ofsted’s annual report, MAT leaders should be prepared for both individual academies as well as the executive leaders to be inspected. This new evaluation summary was trialled in the summer term of 2018 which has increased not only the inspectors’ knowledge of the intricate structures and operations of a MAT but also improved the quality of reporting that school leaders can expect following an inspection.

It is essential that MATs are setting out clear aims to improve not only the quality of teaching but also close the attainment gap between pupils. In order to achieve this MAT leaders should consider how to implement a strong leadership style, develop excellent financial management and deliver an outstanding curriculum throughout every academy within their trust.

Stuart Gardner, CEO, Thinking Schools Academy Trust

Stuart is a well-qualified, experienced education practitioner recognised for his outstanding leadership by Ofsted: MSc (Distinction), University of Kent; National Leader of Education; National Professional Qualification for Headship; 2:1 BA (Hons), University of Bristol. Stuart has demonstrated outstanding educational leadership in a variety of contexts: four years as Headteacher of an Outstanding School; parachuted as Headteacher into a school in Special Measures and took it to Good in 12 months; Executive Headteacher of four secondary schools; CEO of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust with 17 schools consisting of primary schools; junior schools; comprehensive schools; high schools and grammar schools. Stuart is passionate about cognition and the use of the understanding of cognitive processes to enhance teaching and learning, his dissertation on the use of Memory Skills to improve student outcomes has been published by the University of Kent.

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