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New research, produced by PrimarySite, the education branding and website company, questions how easy it is for multi academy trusts (MATs) to grow and how COVID-19 has made expansion harder. The new research report called, ‘Sustainable Growth in Multi Academy Trusts’ interviewed and surveyed MAT leaders and experts, including our very own Al Kingsley, to get their views on how trusts could grow. It identifies five important challenges:

  1. Lack of available schools wanting to join MATs
  2. A risk averse culture
  3. Competition from other MATs
  4. A shortage of senior leaders with the right expertise
  5. Limited access to funding to support growth.

The main phase of the research was undertaken prior to school closures, but further research has been done recently to understand how COVID-19 might impact on the sustainable growth of trusts. This suggests that growth will slow in the short term but that more schools might be interested in converting and joining trusts in due course.

The research also found that smaller MATs felt under pressure to grow, but options for growth were limited. One approach is for smaller MATs to merge or join a larger MAT. However, the research found that many respondents would not consider a growth strategy based on merging with other MATs.

Download the research for free here: https://bit.ly/MATresearchSH and search #MATgrowth to get involved in the conversation.