Thinking of joining
John Taylor Multi Academy Trust?
Whilst John Taylor MAT is always actively seeking other schools to join them, the Trust also offers strategic, operational and financial school to school support services to those requiring interim advice.
If you share our values, are excited by our mission, would be interested in discussing what this could look like in practice for your specific context, and can see working with us as being both productive and exciting then why not contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of the frequently asked questions about MATs (Multi Academy Trusts) which may be useful if your school is thinking of joining JTMAT, or if your child is in a school that is joining JTMAT.
What is an Academy Trust?
An Academy Trust is a not-for-profit company, and a state-funded independent school. It receives its funding directly from the Secretary of State rather than via the Local Authority and this gives the school greater freedom over choices for their curriculum and budget spending. The Trust employs staff and has trustees who are responsible for the performance of the Academies within the Trust. The Trust might have one single Academy or a group of Academies.
What is a Multi Academy Trust (MAT)?
A MAT is formed when two or more Academy schools join as one legal entity. As every Academy Trust is not-for-profit, a MAT is a legally registered charity. This means they cannot be run for financial profit and any surplus is reinvested back into the Trust.
How many children are taught in Academies?
Over half of all pupils in England (53%) attending state funded schools are taught in academies as of January 2022; however, there is a significantly higher proportion of secondary schools (80%) which are Academies₁. Between 2021 and 2022, 607 schools became part of a MAT of 10 or more schools, having previously been either part or a smaller trust, or not in a trust₃. This figure is growing each month as increasingly Academies see the benefits of being part of a MAT with like minded schools that can support each other and share resources.
Why would a school want to join JTMAT? What are the benefits of a “Strong Trust”?
The Government has an ambition for all schools to be part of a “Strong Multi Academy Trust” by 2030, which they have defined as serving a minimum of 7,500 children or run at least 10 schools₂. By working in partnership with each other, schools within a robust MAT can develop best teaching practices, share curriculum expertise and deliver the best outcomes for pupils/students.
At JTMAT, we are proud to already fit the Government’s criteria of a “strong MAT” with 6 Secondary Schools and 13 Primary/Infant Schools₄. Our commitment is to ensure that learning is at the heart of all we do. In the Central MAT team, we aim to do the “heavy lifting” for our schools, focusing on the business and compliance elements, and ensuring our staff and schools keep focused on “keeping the main thing, the main thing” – prioritising our people, time, energy and funding to improving the educational experience for local children and their families.
AT JTMAT we have four key areas of focus in order to drive success:
- Making sure we know each school – the strengths it can bring and any areas in which it will need support.
- Having consistency of core systems across schools – establishing coherent and clear foundations upon which to build innovation and consequent success.
- Developing and empowering our leaders – to drive forward plans, people and progress.
- Maintaining a focus on teaching and learning – through engendering growth mindsets in all teachers and learners and providing opportunities to support that growth.
Are schools forced to join a MAT?
The Government has an ambition for all schools to be part of a MAT by 2030, but it is usually an open choice for the Governors of a Local Authority school if they wish to approach a MAT to join. Some schools are directed to become Academies by the Department of Education, but these are in exceptional circumstances. The decision to join is then taken by both the Governors of the school and the Trustees of the MAT to ensure that both the school and the Trust would be enhanced by the partnership.
What does this mean for the unique character of each school?
It is important to JTMAT that each joining school maintains its own character, with its own uniform, local governance and identity so that it can continue to best serve its local community. Our ambition is to create a family of schools that feel like siblings of each other, not clones.
How is governance structured?
There is a group of MAT Members who are like shareholders in a company; they have overall control of the Trust. The Members appoints the Board of Trust Directors, and they are responsible for setting the direction of the Trust, the accountability of each school, and financial stability of the Trust.
Please visit our website jtmat.co.uk if you would like more information on the JTMAT Members and Board of Trust Directors.
How is school leadership structured?
The Headteachers and Senior Leaders in each school are best placed to make decisions relating to pupils and the day to day running of each school, and that does not change under JTMAT. But by joining JTMAT, these leaders have access to additional resources in the Central Team to help them focus on teaching and learning, whilst having consistent systems to create a strong school.
Can the MAT continue to work with the Local Authority and other providers?
Yes, JTMAT works with Local Authorities and other local providers to support our schools and children. We have the option to continue to work with Local Authorities on a contractual basis, or to source services from other providers if it is better suited to our pupils or financially better.
How is funding allocated in a MAT?
Schools are funded based on the number of pupils they have. Money allocated to a school is used within and for the school it is allocated to.
Who employs the staff?
Staff are employed by the MAT directly, rather than the Local Authority or individual school. When a school joins JTMAT, those staff will have their employment transferred across to us. When school staff apply for jobs, they generally apply to a single school. The majority of staff within JTMAT will spend their time at one school; however, there are opportunities which allow staff to work across more than one school as part of being in JTMAT. This will typically be for short periods of time via secondment.
Can other schools join JTMAT?
JTMAT is keen to continue to grow with the intention of supporting more pupils/students, families, staff and communities. However, as an already “strong Trust” and vibrant organisation, it is important to us that our growth is considered and measured. One of our key objectives is that we still “know” our schools and that they know us and therefore, we want to attract like-minded partner schools who share a similar vision and objectives and where we believe we can be of value to the school, and it can be of value to JTMAT.
Schools wishing to talk to us, or parents looking for more information about JTMAT should access our website for more information: jtmat.co.uk
Does this impact school catchment areas?
Schools retain their own catchment areas and admissions criteria, regardless of joining or being in a MAT.
What does this mean for other local schools that are not part of JTMAT?
We are proud to have a collaborative approach with other local MATs and school communities that are not part of JTMAT. We also have several resources, such as the John Taylor Teaching School hub, the John Taylor SCITT (Teacher Training Course) and Staffordshire Research School status at John Taylor High School which support significant numbers of teachers and subsequent pupils/students across our wider region.
- Academic Year 2021/22 National Statistics, www.gov.uk
- Government White Paper “Opportunity for all: Strong schools with great teachers for your Child” March 2022
- ffteducation datalab “The size of multi-academy trusts” 18th May 2022
- As of September 2023
Further information on MAT academies: www.education.gov.uk/academies