Trust to Trust
Greenwood Academies Trust (GAT) was established in 2009. Over the last 9 years, the organisation has grown into a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) of 34 academies and is set to expand moderately in the future.
On its journey since 2009, the GAT has developed a rigorous and highly principled approach to all aspects of its operation and adopted high quality and resilient corporate business systems and processes.
GAT has an outstanding record of good financial management and corporate governance. This is evidenced consistently in annual External Audit reports and by the Education Skills Funding Agency Financial Management and Governance Review of the Trust in 2016.
The systems, processes, expertise and know-how that underpin GAT’s track record in this area have been established over the last 9 years by a committed and stable team of talented staff, who are determined to make a difference to young people’s lives and enhance their social mobility.
More than half of all England’s schools will be academies by 2021, with the majority being sponsored by a MAT, typically of not less than 10 to 15 academies. In order for these MATs to thrive, they will have to deliver improved and measurable outcomes for young people. Of equal importance, they will have to develop significant corporate systems, processes, policies, expertise and know-how in corporate and ‘back-office’ functions. The GAT is particularly proud of the record that it has established in these areas over many years.
GAT operates across Central and East England in areas that often have high levels of deprivation and social challenge. The percentage of GAT’s pupils attracting pupil premium is significantly above the national average. Central to GAT’s strategy to raise aspiration and give young people the skills, qualifications and experiences that they need to succeed, is a significant programme of student enrichment activity, both inside and outside our academies. These sustained activities and opportunities are proven to make life-changing differences to young people. However, they are challenging to finance and the GAT does not benefit from significant benevolent funding streams, which could help support such activities.
The rationale for GAT’s trading offer
More creative ways of saving money will be required across the sector over the coming years and the ability to raise funds for academy activities that might be seen as ‘discretionary’ will be even more important in the future.
The challenge of retaining and attracting the highest quality staff to support MATs in delivering a range of corporate and ‘back-office’ services is also likely to become more difficult in this growing and increasingly competitive sector.
GAT’s intention to trade is borne out of its desire to provide services in a market sector where it can bring a high quality and cost-effective solution to growing MATs. This will provide other MATs with proven services and also generate income to directly support GAT’s pupils, as well as providing development opportunities for its staff.
What services can GAT offer?
GAT can offer bespoke services to other MATs and provide the same proven systems, processes, policies, expertise and know-how that it delivers to its own academies across a wide range of corporate and ‘back-office’ functions.
In the majority of cases, the provision of any services from GAT to another MAT will start with an initial assessment performance in the key areas of sound corporate governance and infrastructure.
Click here to see what we can offer.
A simplistic way of describing the core services on offer is that they are often the things that head teachers never came into the profession to undertake, yet are all too often those activities that distract them from making the biggest difference to pupil outcomes.