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Emerging patterns of Multi-Academy Trusts and school sponsorship in England

James, C and Simon, C.A (2017) Emerging patterns of Multi-Academy Trusts and school sponsorship in England. In: British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) Conference, 7 - 9 July 2017, Ettington Chase Hotel, Stratford Upon Avon, UK.

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Abstract

The number of the schools in England moving from local authority control to central government control by becoming academies has grown rapidly since 2010 when the new academies agenda was instigated. More recently, the number of academies forming groups of academies – Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) – which are distinct legal entities, has also grown rapidly. Together, these two changes, academisation and MATs, represent one of the most significant structural changes to the state education system in England since the Butler Education Act of 1944. The configuration of groups of schools into MATs has produced a diverse landscape of organisational structures and bodies responsible for the management and oversight of state funded schooling. MATs are extremely diverse structures, having a range of lead institutions, organisations and individuals. There is also a wide variance in geographic spread. Set against the socio-political and economic background of globalisation, these changes reflect one way in which the English government has responded to the opening up of public services, including schools, to private business interests and international capital. In becoming academies schools move out of local authority control and ‘buy in’ advice and support services. For example, responsibilities traditionally held by local authorities for intervening in and supporting inadequately performing schools have been taken on by so-called ‘sponsoring academies’. In essence, schools that are performing inadequately are required to become academies and join a MAT. Within the MAT will be a sponsoring academy, which has specific responsibilities for improving the inadequately performing school. The study is based on analysis of the Department for Education’s Edubase2 database relating to Academy sponsorship. It aims to describe emerging patterns of MATs paying particular attention to size, geographical spread, school type and sponsorship arrangements. The role of the Regional Schools’ Commissioners in allocating Sponsors and underperforming schools is also of interest here. Answers to the following questions were considered: ● Why would schools chose to become sponsoring academies? ● How is the arrangement brokered - particularly where sponsorship may cross geographical/county borders? ● What are the sponsorship arrangements? ● Is sponsorship short-term e.g. until the sponsored school meets satisfactory standards of performance or long-term? ● What are the opportunities and risks of academy sponsorship?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Institute for Education
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2017 15:31
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2017 15:46
URI: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/9797
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