At the start, MATs are small and can cope with manual processes and procedures, spreading staff across multiple institutions, and allowing schools a certain degree of discretion over how they manage themselves. However, as the number of schools approaches 5, the central team (who often also work within a school) become overstretched.
We challenge the notion that MAT alignment and school autonomy are oppositional. In fact, alignment can enable autonomy if you have accountability and transparency in place!
Earlier this year Ofsted announced that they will begin inspecting academy chains, meaning that now is a more important time than ever for multi-academy trusts to have a full, detailed understanding of the performance of all their schools. If you are a trustee, director, governor, or part of an executive management team, access to clear and timely performance data is crucial to your ability to monitor outcomes and pinpoint areas of underperformance.