Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) are a collection of academy schools all working under the same operating group. They are state-funded schools and the groups of schools within them work together under a shared academy funding agreement. As of 2019, there were 1,170 MATs operating in England, with 572 of these MATs containing five or more schools.
At Schools Plus, we are delighted to work with a number of MATs across the country. We’ve had some truly great experiences working with these trusts and we would fully recommend anyone to visit these schools either as pupils, parents or Schools Plus customers.
In initial discussions with governors, headteachers and other decision-makers from MATs, we are often asked if they should be running letting across all of their schools. It can certainly seem a great idea on paper, with additional revenue coming in at multiple sites and increased levels of community engagement on-site on Evenings, Weekends and School Holidays.
However, we always advise considering a few important factors being entering into such an agreement. We would never want our clients to be in a position later on where they are disappointed with the outcome of our service, so we do make sure we’re also considering these factors ourselves as well.
Most importantly, we would advise thinking of every school within the MAT as its own location, with its own needs and challenges, rather than as a group of schools where everything will work across the board. This line of thinking may work for educational planning purposes and budget setting, but it often does not work as well when considering school lettings services.
For each of these individual schools, we would first suggest considering where they are located. If they are in a busy city centre, near multiple leisure centres, then the demand for space might be lower. However, if they are the hubs of their towns or villages then they would be significantly more suitable to running their own lettings.
We will also advise reviewing if your school contains any unique facilities (such as a Dance Studio or 3G Pitches) to their local areas, as this can make them significantly busier if they do. Other facilities that have proven reliably popular with our customers include Main Halls, Multi-Use Game Areas and Drama Studios.
After reviewing the location of the school and the facilities within them, our clients will hopefully be in a better place to decide if that individual school would benefit from running their own lettings or not.
We do believe it’s important to consider each school as their own site rather than as a collective need, however, If it turns out that each school within the MAT would benefit from a lettings service, then we will have no hesitation in getting started at each location as soon as we can.
We hope the above has helped you consider if your MAT should run lettings at all of your sites. We love working with all the MATs that we currently do and we’re always ready to start discussions with any potential new ones.
If you wanted to get in touch to find out any further details, please don’t hesitate to contact us on the details below.