About: Academies & Multi Academy Trusts (MATs)
We have extensive experience of advising academies and supporting MATs with the academy conversion process, with our client base ranging from small geographical clusters to large trusts with a national presence. Importantly, we understand that each academy and family of schools is unique with its own ethos, vision, quirks and challenges.
We can advise you on the following:
- changing from a single academy trust to a multi academy trust
- trust expansion
- merging trusts
- trust to trust transfers/re-brokering academies
- school improvement trusts/sponsor MATs
- MAT governance/strategic MAT support
We understand the huge impact the decision to convert has on an individual school community. Having converted over 1000 schools, our experienced team will provide answers to your questions and simplify the entire conversion process for you. Whether you wish to set up a new Trust or join an existing one, your dedicated team leader will drive forward the project and oversee all legal aspects of the conversion including staff, land, governance, funding and contracts and assets. We will also report to you regularly on progress so you know what to expect.
Our experts offer solutions to complex issues that can sometimes arise during a conversion process, for example, relating to land, staffing or PFI/BSF projects. We have developed excellent working relationships with project leads at the Department for Education and contacts at local authorities which is vital to ensure that the conversion runs smoothly.
We also provide strategic support to Trust boards who are considering an expansion strategy, for example, changing from a single academy trust to a multi academy trust or managing the risks of taking on a new school, particularly if a School has been issued with a directive academy order.
Our team can advise your executive team on due diligence and how to implement a strong and robust governance structure to help the Trust board to satisfy its legal obligations. We can advise on your Trust’s scheme of delegation to ensure that there are clear lines of accountability. This ensures that appropriate decisions are delegated to the Academy at a local level or reserved to Trust Board, whichever is most appropriate.
If your Trust is well-established, we can advise on consolidation and the legal framework that the ESFA will expect you to follow in order to be regarded as a high performing MAT.
We offer fixed fees for academy conversions which include a level of access to our School Support Service, our retainer for Trusts and Schools which has been developed to help you to manage legal risks.