1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Commons Education Select Committee inquiry into performance, accountability & governance of MATs

Discussion in 'Education news' started by HouseOfCommons, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. HouseOfCommons

    HouseOfCommons New commenter

    The House of Commons Education Select Committee have launched an inquiry into the performance, accountability and governance of Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs).

    Submit your evidence

    The Education Committee invites submissions addressing the following points:
    • The role of MATs in the context of other intermediate structures operating between Whitehall and individual schools, including Regional Schools Commissioners
    • The current MATs landscape, including in terms of the number, size, and geographical coverage of MATs
    • The balance of decision-making at the individual school level and at the chain level, and the appropriateness of formal governance structures employed
    • How the expansion of MATs should be monitored and managed
    • The characteristics of high-performing MATs
    • How the performance of MATs should be assessed
    The deadline for written submissions is Monday 25 April 2016.

    Send a written submission directly to the Committee through their web portal.

    Chair's comment

    Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Committee said:

    "Multi-Academy Trusts play a substantial role in today’s education system but with relatively little scrutiny. The Government’s direction of travel towards a fully academised system means we are likely to see more MATs in the future. Some MATs and academies deliver great results for their pupils but it’s important that all academies and MATS meet the highest educational standards.

    We want to examine the role and governance of MATs and ensure we have a system which ensures these academy chains deliver excellent performance while being properly held to account."​

    Inquiry background

    Many academy trusts operate a single school, but others are responsible for a chain of schools. The DfE uses the term 'academy chain' to describe groups of three or more schools. Chains of schools typically operate as multi-academy trusts (MATs). A MAT may decide to delegate some functions to school-level governing bodies, but the MAT remains accountable for the schools and can take all decisions on how the schools run.

    In January, the Education Committee published a report on Regional Schools Commissioners (PDF 1.3MB) calling for improvements to the transparency, accountability and working relationships of Regional Schools Commissioners (RSCs). This inquiry on multi-academy trusts carries on the work in scrutinising the increasingly important ‘middle tier’ between Whitehall and individual schools.
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    You know, it would be a good idea for Parliament to consult teachers before passing legislation allowing things like MATs to proliferate rather than asking us to dive into the long grass when everything goes wrong on their watch.
    bevdex, Laphroig, Calpurnia99 and 7 others like this.
  3. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    slingshotsally and petenewton like this.
  4. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    What's the difference between holding an LA to account for their schools and holding a MAT to account?
  5. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    How the expansion of MATs should be managed?

    I believe the DofE say, we have passed legislation to allow MATs to pay their teachers what is needed to ensure that all children, regardless of background, are taught by well qualified staff.

    MATs have said, we need to stuff our coffers with tens of millions of pounds by moving on experienced teachers on UPS and replacing them with unqualified teachers. This way, we can continue to pay single members of executive 'staff' the equivalent salary to that of several experienced teachers on UPS who were, until recently, teaching children of an impoverished background very well.

    I would like to see MATs being made to publish statistics around staffing so that insightful details are revealed about: staff turnover, qualifications, pay, usage of capability and 'pre-capability', etc. and this matched against the profile of their pupils.
    bevdex, Ezzie, Calpurnia99 and 3 others like this.
  6. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Why are MAT's holding back so much money, when children are short of teachers and resources in their schools?

    Why aren't MAT's non-profit making trusts?

    Could you ask them how they can justify their ridiculous salaries when so many children in their school's lack TA's, Qualified Teachers & resources?
    boozybird likes this.
  7. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    LAs are democratically elected & locally accountable. MATs are neither. E-ACT is even getting rid of Governing Bodies, thus potentially removing what little local representation there might be.
    cissy3 and petenewton like this.
  8. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I think it is suffice to say that any survey of the profession would reveal a deep antipathy on an ideological level to MATs and academies. And what they detest the most is the way that funding for children and good teachers is moved into the pockets of a small number of individuals.
    cissy3 likes this.
  9. darklord11

    darklord11 Occasional commenter

    Waste of public money, this government and Morgan, Gibb and DFE have their agenda.
    We have executives on 200k plus but their entire business model in based on funding from the government.
    Their mates are racking it in as state education is truly shafted.
    emerald52, delnon and cissy3 like this.
  10. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    That was always my concern, no local accountability. When things started to go wrong in the Birmingham academies the government tried to blame the local council. It just proves that as academies grow the government cannot keep an eye on all of them and only react when things are already going wrong.
    When academies fail they just get passed to another academy chain, what happens when they fail, how long does this failure go on for? It all sounds like a big gravy train to me with the ceo of an academy chain taking a big spoon full - kind of reminds me of NHS trusts and the managers that do not contribute to the overall care of patients. I remember hearing that the present teacher pupil ratio in secondary schools is 17.2 : 1 that's a lot of non teachers being supported by classes of 30+.
    cissy3 likes this.
  11. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Is there any MAT which are run as non-profit making organisations or are they all out to pirates- leaping on board a school, asset stripping (by removing qualified, experienced professionals), looting (filling the deep pockets of CEO's) and scuppering our country (destroying any chance of our children getting a coherent, education of even the slightest depth)?
    delnon and cissy3 like this.
  12. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    Am I missing something? Shouldn't this inquiry have taken place long before the decision to make all schools academies?
    delnon, cissy3 and wanet like this.
  13. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Wouldn't it be nice if the government already had solid policy on this before announcing that all English schools will be academies?
    cissy3 and wanet like this.
  14. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    As the parent of a child who has thankfully just left an academy run by an MAT I might have been interested in this. Our school, in an area of substantial social deprivation was academised forcefully in 2012. I was a governor at the time when a governors meeting was hijacked by DFE bigwigs who told us that we could academise consensually or be forced into it. The carrot was the promise of 'input' into the process. Well guess what? There was none. The MAT took over and appointed their own governors, parents views were limited to a parents forum whose agenda was controlled by the MAT. The school went from satisfactory to RI to Special Measures (as have one of their other schools - it's a small MAT) and the recent monitoring visit notes that 40% of teachers are supply, and inspectors witnessed a fight among pupils on their visit. They have been issued a pre warning notice. The CEO of the MAT 'earns' £250,000 a year. A quarter of a million quid a year for failing. The upshot of this will eventually be that the school will be passed to another MAT and the current one will breathe a sigh of relief. It's an absolute scam. The consultation says that the MAT's are accountable. They aren't really though are they? They fail and nothing happens. Schools in poor areas will be passed around, picked up and dropped like hot bricks. Jobs for the boys, pigs in the trough, endless self aggrandising spin, revolving door hiring and firing in the name of 'driving up standards' and very little in the way of concern for pupils. Academies might be successful in some areas but poorer areas are becoming educational ghettos.
    bevdex, lulu57, Calpurnia99 and 6 others like this.
  15. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    • "The current MATs landscape, including in terms of the number, size, and geographical coverage of MATs" - the landscape is now made up of MATs and something called a LAT. A LAT is a Local Authority "Trust". A Local Authority school is managed by well, the Local Authority. A source of expertise and a not for profit body accountable to OFSTED, and to all other stakeholders. The Local Authority does not make a profit from their schools whereas Academies have a number of additional managers and administrators all of whom are paid and any profits are removed from the communal pot and paid to private organisations and individuals. Do you not have windows?
      • How the performance of MATs should be assessed - If you do not know this then why legislate for all schools to become MATs? We have an organisation called OFSTED which inspects schools including Academies. The leader is one Michael Wilshaw - his views on the effectiveness of Academies has recently been published. Have a look around. It is certainly referenced on these fora.

    • These requests for teachers' views - they are just a bit of an exercise to tick a box are they not? We know about such things having ticked quite a lot of boxes in our time.
    Would it be possible for me to take charge of these things? It seems to me that the Government is in need of a great deal of help over education and I am qualified and keen to take over. We will be using the model of education used in Finland. Is that OK?
    And there will be no MATS.
    emerald52, slingshotsally and cissy3 like this.
  16. HouseOfCommons

    HouseOfCommons New commenter

    On Wednesday 15 June from 9.30am, the House of Commons Education Select Committee will hear evidence on multi-academy trusts.

    Focus of the session

    This session is an opportunity to compare visions of the National Schools Commissioner and Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector for the growth of Multi Academy Trusts and examine the relationship between Ofsted inspectors and Regional School Commissioners.


    The Committee will hear evidence from:
    • Sir David Carter, National Schools Commissioner, Department for Education
    • Sir Michael Wilshaw, HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, Ofsted
    Watch the session on Parliament TV.

  17. HouseOfCommons

    HouseOfCommons New commenter

    On Wednesday 13 July from 9.30am, the House of Commons Education Select Committee will hear evidence on multi-academy trusts.

    The Committee will hear evidence from:

    At 9.30am:
    • Sir Steve Lancashire, Chief Executive, Reach2 Academy Trust
    • David Moran, Chief Executive, E-Act
    • Lucy Heller, Chief Executive, Ark
    • Barbara Daykin, Executive Head Teacher, Little Mead Academy Trust
    At 10.30am
    • Councillor Richard Watts, Vice-Chair of the Children and Young People Board, Local Government Association
    • Emma Knights, Chief Executive, National Governors Association
    • Chris Keates, General Secretary, NASUWT
    • Russell Hobby, General Secretary, NAHT
    Watch the session in full on Parliament TV.

  18. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I would watch it but I will be busy working, you know, teaching children. I would really like to know just how many of these MATs have actually 'turned around' schools that were previously 'failing'. In areas of social deprivation. Where people don't work. Where the school is only seen as an option of those who can't get a place anywhere else. We hear a lot about how MATs are raising standards for the very poorest in society. Just because they say it doesn't make it so. The shower of arrogant Friends of Gove who took over my son's school were big on 'raising aspirations'. They took Year 8 to the university in a 'look what you could have won' trip. That was in the early days when trips were allowed. Later on there were no trips to the theatre, no foreign exchanges, no museum visits. Nada. A terrible con is being perpetrated on the poorest, the powerless and those whose choices are already stark and limited. Shame on them.
    bevdex, rosievoice and emerald52 like this.
  19. stupot101

    stupot101 Established commenter

    I agree.
    Mrsmumbles and vannie like this.
  20. HouseOfCommons

    HouseOfCommons New commenter

    Hi Everyone

    On Wednesday 7 September 2016 at 9.30am, the Education Committee will hear from academics, researchers and faith education providers as part of its Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) inquiry.

    Focus of the session
    Witnesses include representatives of the Sutton Trust, UCL Institute of Education, National Foundation for Education Research and Education Policy Institute. All of the invited organisations and researchers have published studies on MATs and the Committee plans to ask them about their work and the evidence behind the Government's plans to expand MATs.

    The Committee also hears from the Church of England Education Office, Catholic Education Service, British Humanist Association, Oasis Community Learning and Freedom and Autonomy for Schools - National Association. The Committee's focus is on the Government's plans to expand MATs, the role of faith-based MATs, local authority powers and school to school support.

    Dr Melanie Ehren, Reader in Educational Accountability and Improvement, UCL Institute of Education
    Professor Merryn Hutchings, Author of 'Chain Effects' report, Sutton Trust
    Natalie Perera, Executive Director, Education Policy Institute
    Karen Wespieser, Senior Research Manager, National Foundation for Educational Research
    Paul Barber, Director, Catholic Education Service
    Reverend Steve Chalke, Founder, Oasis Community Learning
    Andrew Copson, Chief Executive, British Humanist Association
    Reverend Nigel Genders, Chief Education Officer, Church of England Education Office
    David Wilson, Director, Freedom and Autonomy for Schools – National Association

    You can watch the session live or catch-up later on Parliament TV.

Share This Page