Lent Rise School Academy Proposal - Multi Academy Trust Consultation
As you are aware, Lent Rise School is an academy trust. The school converted to an academy through the converter route (for schools who were already classed as Good or Outstanding by Ofsted) in 2015 as trustees were keen for the school to be able to utilise academy autonomy at this time. The last seven years has shown this to have been the correct decision and indeed Lent Rise has flourished partly due to this.
The government’s Schools White Paper published in March 2022 set out the requirement for all schools to be part of a ‘strong Multi Academy Trust by 2030’.
It is proposed that Lent Rise School academy trust will convert to a multi-academy trust (MAT), creating a collective made up of individual schools that retain their identity but that can grow together as a community. The trust welcomes interest from both existing academies and maintained schools looking to convert to academies.
What will becoming a MAT mean for Lent Rise School?
Currently, Lent Rise School is its own academy trust. If Lent Rise School academy trust becomes a MAT, the governance arrangements will change.
Current SAT governance structure:
Academy Board Members – >Trustees (board of Governors) – >Senior Leadership Team
What are Academy board Members?
Members help to ensure that Academy Trustees are exercising effective governance using a range of powers including: Appointing and removing Academy Trustees: Members can appoint Academy Trustees and remove any or all serving Academy Trustees.
What are Academy Trustees?
The trustees focus on three core functions: ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction, holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff, overseeing and ensuring effective financial performance.
Proposed MAT governance structure:
Academy Trust Members – >Trust Board – >- Trust Chief Executive Roles -> Local Governance Boards (for each school) ->School Senior Leaders
What is the difference between trustee of a school and of a MAT?
MATs have a board of trustees who work at a top level and are accountable for all the schools within the trust. Trustees can delegate the day-to-day running of schools within the trust to local governing boards (LGBs). Each school in the MAT may have its own LGB which considers issues relevant to the individual school.
For pupils –
On a day-to-day basis there will be no significant material differences to pupils’ school experience and education. In the medium term, the benefits of both collaborative financial planning and staff expertise sharing will see enhancements to our current excellent offering.
Developing a MAT will ensure we keep our identify, uniform, position of curriculum, and by the leading the development of a MAT we can shape our future for the benefit of the Lent Rise Community.
What are multi academy trusts?
Multi Academy trusts are charities that have responsibility for running a number of academies. They cannot, as charities, be run for financial profit and any surplus must be reinvested in the trust.
By working in partnership with each other, the schools within a trust can share curriculum expertise and effective teaching practices, and work together to deliver the best outcomes for pupils.
Why are LRS governors looking to grow a MAT?
In the local commutable area, we aim (if the governors agree to move forward with this) to provide a learning community where wellbeing is at the heart of the school improvement model.
The vision for all the schools in the trust is to shine by encouraging their own individuality, retaining their unique characteristics, uniforms, logos, and curriculum.
We aim to be able to make a choice rather than be guided to a particular MAT in the future. This means staff will be able to shape the direction of Lent Rise, building on both our strengths and strengths of other schools in the new MAT. MATs have to capacity to provide more CPD and career progression for staff and this is a significant driving factor for us.
What are the benefits of becoming a MAT?
In the school’s opinion the benefits are numerous:
- Financial economies of scale across all schools
- Leadership development opportunities across all schools
- Retention of staff across the trust and schools
- Focus on wellbeing in the curriculum, sharing expertise across the group of school
- Focus on wellbeing for staff
- Retained school identities - rather than losing school identities within a different MAT
- Further enhanced school improvement across all schools, impacting on enhanced pupil progress and attainment
Are there any risks to becoming a MAT?
As a MAT, the central board of directors will be accountable for any other academies that join the MAT, not just Lent Rise School. This means increased responsibility and accountability. As part of the conversion process, the governing body will ensure that careful decisions are taken to ensure thatthe correct governance structure and systems are in place to successfully operate more than one academy.
Other options the governors working party have investigated:
1) Joining a small MAT which is already established
2) Joining a large MAT which is already established
Both of these options would change the school’s identify and significantly reduce our autonomy and we predict, having an impact on staff retention and staff recruitment.
Are there any risks of not becoming a MAT?
The governors are acutely aware that the risk of lack of choice in the future may inhibit the success of Lent Rise School pupils.
Why are we looking at this now?
By presenting our MAT offering now we aim to work with like minded schools who also wish to retain their own identities and are keen for collaboration with our vision and values in mind. This will provide the strongest opportunities for success.
What else will change?
We do not intend to change anything else about the day-to-day operation of the Lent Rise School as a result of converting to MAT.
How can I find out more?
There is more information about MAT academies on the DfE website: http://www.education.gov.uk/academies
If you can’t find the answer to your question here, or on the DfE website, please email email@example.com and your query will be addressed in the consultation response.
If you’d like an informal chat, Mrs Watson is on the morning drop off gate most days and is more than happy to talk with parents to take down and answer your questions.
How can I make representations?
The closing date for representations to be made is 16th January 2023.
The encourage representations to be made using the survey link:
Representations can be made in writing to: Lent Rise School, Coulson Way, Burnham, SL1 7NP
or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where the above mechanisms are not possible, please contact the school on 01628662913, between the hours of 10am and 2pm.
*As the consultation has now concluded the above survey and email address are not in use.
Please email email@example.com with any enquiries or questions.
What do Lent Rise School Staff think?
The governors working party completed an informal consultation with staff (prior to this formal consultation) to gauge opinion which was in the majority in favour of the proposal.
Will staff leave?
We hope not and do not predict excess staff mobility (taking into account the informal feedback received). If the school converts to a MAT, all staff currently employed by the school will automatically transfer to the new academy on their current pay and conditions.
Will Lent Rise School change?
We do not intend to change Lent Rise School except in ways which we think will improve the school even more. For students, it is unlikely that they will see much, if any, change in their day-to-day school lives. There are no proposed changes to uniform, curriculum and wrap around care.
Are there alternatives for Lent Rise School, other than converting to a MAT?
Yes, the governors have researched alternatives which include:
1) joining an existing MAT- either newly or well established,
2) remaining as a SAT at this present time and consider options nearer to 2030
Why are we not proposing to join an existing MAT?
The governors are resolute in their aim of establishing a robust MAT, from the Learn Reach Shine values, working with like minded schools and providing pupils at Lent Rise School with the best possible outcomes.
What happens next?
The consultation responses will be reviewed by the governing body.
If the governors then decide not to proceed, the decision may be made to review this in a few years or the decision may be made to look further at established MATs.
If the governors agree to proceed with the proposal, this recommendation will be made to Lent Rise School academy trust's member board. If the member board support the decision, the application process will be completed and the parent body updated as required.