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Governor Live review: Joining a MAT

Governor Live review: Joining a MAT

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The final session in the series of Governor Live Considerations for Conversion events was held on Thursday the 8th of December 2016. Christine Bayliss from C:BECS, Michelle Gray from berg and Karen Rae from Armstrong Watson – our panel of presenters who have taken part in all of the Considerations for Conversion events – took a detailed look at what would probably be the most popular of options for any school considering academisation – namely joining an existing multi-academy trust (MAT).

Outline of the event:

Here’s how the event proceeded:

  • Introduction;
  • Presentation by Christine Bayliss of C:BECS on how to assess any available information about MATs local to your school;
  • Presentation by Michelle Gray of berg on the legal issues around joining an existing MAT, including the scheme of delegation;
  • Presentation by Karen Rae of Armstrong Watson on the financial issues around joining an existing MAT, including the conversion grant;
  • Q&A addressing the following questions (a selection of those asked by participants):
    • How many potential MAT partners would you advise to put on the final short list?
    • What are the issues around land for church schools joining a MAT? This is apparently holding up our conversion.
    • Would it be relative simpler for a school in an existing federation (2 schools) to converting to a MAT rather than joining a MAT?
    • Where does the time to sort all this out come from? Our HT and SBM are snowed under with assessments, disadvantaged children etc – most of the governors work full or part time? I am struggling to see where the support comes from?
    • How much of the legal and financial due diligence do the GBs have to do. And how much can you effectively pay a friendly legal/accountancy expert to do for you?
    • Could you please explain again about the conversion grant. Who receives it?
    • At what stage would you advise bringing in legal services? Before the GB pass the resolution to convert with a chosen partner or afterwards?
    • Any advice for 2 SEN specialist schools joining a mixed primary secondary MAT – would they be better as a separate mini-MAT?
    • Does the conversion grant mostly cover the legal costs of converting? Or is there a danger a school may well be out of pocket?
  • Evaluations and Thanks for attending.

Presentation slides

Here are slides from the main presentation, reproduced and shared with the presenters’ permission:

Feedback from participants

In common with all of the Considerations for Conversion sessions, the evaluation and feedback of the session was overwhelmingly positive:

Q: Would you recommend Governor Live sessions like this to your colleagues in governance?

  • Yes: 100%
  • No: 0%
  • Not sure: 0%

Q: In your own words, what was good about this event?

  • All 4 of these Considerations for Conversion have been excellent- helpful, practical and useful. Thank you.
  • Being “live” – the questions get answered as they come to you!
  • Good interaction with Q&A
  • Direct access to experts, extremely useful.
  • Fantastic to have this panel in one place. Very helpful.
  • Very clear info and I loved that people’s questions were answered.

View the recordings of Considerations for Conversion – Joining a MAT

View the recording on the Modern Governor YouTube channel:

Visit for an archive of all Governor Live-related information, now and in the future.

Future governor live sessions

Further Governor Live sessions are already planned for 2017 – the best way to find out about these first is to subscribe to the Modern Governor blog – no spam, only helpful posts covering research, issues facing governors, guest posts and details of new modules available as part of Modern Governor – plus of course announcements about the next Governor Live sessions.

Image credit: based on Branta canadensis by Chris – licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

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