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Building capacity in a multi-academy trust - the critical role of the executive leaders

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Running a multi-academy trust (MAT) is a demanding role and there is a need to support the development of executive leaders. This unique, highly successful eight-day course is designed to offer support and guidance to all existing and aspiring MAT executive leaders. These roles carry very particular duties and responsibilities. To be successful you will need knowledge of school improvement, good governance structures, financial and business management processes as well as bringing good leadership and change management skills.


Book three modules and receive a 5% discount or six modules and receive a 10% discount. Please contact us on +44 (0)1223 463757 to receive this offer. Discount is only applicable when the modules are booked together in advance and will not be applied to any retrospective bookings.


Cambridge Education has gained a distinctive reputation for providing advice, support and training to build capacity at school, academy trust, and local authority level. Drawing on this extensive experience, Cambridge Education has developed a unique eight-day course that will support and develop you in your role as an executive leader. The course will draw on a wide range of experienced individuals who have first-hand experience of the issues facing you as a leader of a MAT. It will give you the chance to fully understand your role, build your own capacity and network with others in a similar position.


What will it cover?


There are eight modules delivered on eight discrete days, all presented by leading specialists in each field. You can enrol for the course as a whole or mix and match modules to your specific needs.



Please click on the module titles to find out more.




Module 1: Statutory responsibilities


This module is designed to provide senior officers within a multi-academy trust with an overview of the legal and regulatory context in which they are required to operate, basic knowledge of applicable law, and an understanding of when they should be seeking further advice.


Module 2: Finance and procurement

This module is designed for senior executive officers who do not come from a professional finance background, but who, as the senior executive of an academy trust, need to have a clear and detailed understanding of the responsibilities, requirements and issues related to the strategic financial operation of a trust.


Module 3: Priority policies


This module provides insight and overview on key policy areas that need to be considered and understood at both an executive and board level. It will focus on those areas of highest risk or complexity.



Module 4: Building a board


This module is focused on governance and looks at two key aspects:



  • how can structures be developed to allow the organisation to manage, monitor and lead at all levels?
  • what makes an effective board, and how do you achieve it?


Module 5: Developing a business plan

This is an area that can be unfamiliar to some, but the importance of a business plan will be developed through this module and equip delegates with tools and examples to use in developing their own.


Module 6: Driving trust–wide efficiencies through your ICT strategy


This module will consider the challenges facing a MAT when amalgamating schools’ potentially different ICT solutions, whilst also providing a solution that is fit for purpose to the needs of a MAT.

Module 7: Effective governance in MATs

Please note that this module has now been withdrawn and is replaced by the new Governance in MATs course. 


Module 8: Due diligence - enabling the right decisions

This one-day course will explore the process of due diligence from the perspective of the acquiring MAT.


Specialist input into sessions is provided by:


  • Education Funding Agency
  • Taylor Culshaw Solicitors
  • Mazars Auditors
  • Mott MacDonald
  • Safety Rocks
  • dkHR (Human Resources)


Who should attend?


Existing and aspiring MAT executive leaders.



Previous delegates have indicated that they would have benefitted significantly from attending the first three modules before becoming a multi-academy trust.


Why attend?



  • Understand the role of MAT executive leaders.
  • Understand the specific characteristics of the MAT structure, governance, legalities and financial management used in a MAT.
  • Understand funding mechanisms and financial accounting and reporting requirements.
  • Understand ICT strategy at a trust level and examine a range of options for moving your trust’s ICT development forward.
  • Access a wide range of experts in the field who are currently working in MATs.
  • Help to build your own support network.

You can enrol for the course as a whole or mix and match modules to your specific needs.


Book three modules and receive a 5% discount or six modules and receive a 10% discount. Please contact us on +44 (0)1223 463757 to receive this offer.



Discount is only applicable when the modules are booked together in advance and will not be applied to any retrospective bookings.






Eight days in total.




To find out more or to book a place


For more information or to book a place please call us on +44 (0) 1223 463757 or email us at



  • I would have liked to have come to this course right at the start of the academy conversion process.
    Sarah Talbot, Headteacher East Ardsley Primary School
  • This course needs to be advertised to those in the process of converting.
    Claire Buffham, Director of Education, Community Inclusive Trust
  • Very effective again. Fifth module I've been on and all of a very high quality.
    Jason O'Rourke, Washingborough Academy - Finance and procurement for CEO module
  • This course is an absolut must for anyone considering MAT expansion.
    Tina Murphy, Headteacher Holy Trinity C of E Academy Mat - Module 8 Due Diligence
  • Clear and really well explained; great to take away quality examples. Excellent speakers who knew their stuff
    Mike Bell, Executive Headteacher Morpeth Road Primary Academy - Module 8 Due Diligence
  • Clear focus, coherent meld of theory, experience and understanding of likely outside influences to shape good practice.Very clear and practical. (Diane Houghton, Director of Operations The Blyth Quays Trust - Module 8 Due Diligence) Excellent, informative and knowledgeable speakers and good handouts/information.
    A M Holdsworth, The Rodillian Multi Academy Trust - Priority policies module
  • Real practical sensible solution with prompts for thought. Amazing course blew my mind on what I need to do, spot on couldn't be better.
    Paul Stone, Discovery Schools Academy Trust - Building a board module
  • This course has been an absolute life-saver. I started the course when I was only two weeks into the CEO role. The course has given me an excellent overview of my role and responsibilities and those of others. I have come back to the course materials time and time again. It has provided me with the opportunity to learn from and link with colleagues performing a similar role.
    Liz Agbettoh, Chief Executive, Cidari Multi-Academy Trust
  • Two of us attended the first module of your new programme aimed at executive leaders of multi-academy trusts. It was one of the best and most useful training programmes we have attended. The content was excellent and the presentation and content had great integrity. It was so good that we immediately decided to book a third colleague onto the programme.
    Christine Quinn, Executive Principal, Ninestiles Academy Trust
  • Very knowledgable presenters who mixed taught sessions and discussion well.
    Paul Dunning, CEO, Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust
  • Was a bit worried it'd be dull but it wasn't. Very helpful. Had real confidence in (presenter).
    Philip Crompton, Executive Headteacher, Rushcliffe School, Nottingham
  • Happy with the day and look forward to other modules.
    Paul James, CEO, Cherwell School Academy Trust, Oxfordshire
  • Project management planning and reporting tools were really useful to everyone in the team as it meant we all knew who was doing what and by when.
    Nina Newell, Head of Schools and Early Years, London Borough of Bromley
  • The quality of service and level of responsiveness was extremely good. The ability to work and be presented as a partner to the MAT and not just a service provider was very important to us.
    Ayub Khan, CEO, Rochester Diocesan Multi-Academy Educational Trust
  • The Cambridge Education team provided the right level of support as we built up capacity and were always there if a final sense check was needed. The operations team now feel empowered to lead projects and have a much deeper understanding of the process.
    Jason Brown, Head of Business Operations, Bath and Wells Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust
  • Whilst value for money was an important consideration, quality and timescale of delivery was the most important factor in our decision to appoint Cambridge Education.
    Jason Brown, Head of Business Operations, Bath and Wells Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust
  • The project manager sought clarification during the bidding phase and her questions demonstrated clear, intelligent thinking. We chose Cambridge Education to help us set up the MAT based on this initial contact and decided against a recommendation to select another company. We have been very pleased with our decision and found the rigorous tracking, detailed guidance and support really helpful.
    Katherine Jeffrey, Trust Member, New Hall Multi-Academy Trust
  • As well as fitting into the existing team, Cambridge Education provided an understanding of the process with clear translation of jargon. They provided confidence and stability during the fast track process to establish the MAT.
    Caroline May, Special Project Officer, New Hall Multi-Academy Trust
  • A huge support during the consultation process and start up planning.
    Graham Watson, Trust Director, The Seckford Foundation Free School Academy Trust
  • We have all been trying to get the best for the young people now in the school and hopefully for the future. Your extensive knowledge and experience, professionalism and calmness whenever needed, have been outstanding.
    Vanessa Wiseman, DfE Academies Education Lead
  • I am finding the training so useful. It has allowed me to clear my thinking about a range of systems and processes. The speakers are of a very high quality and the resources are excellent.
    Beryce Nixon, Executive Principal and National Leader of Education, Exceed Learning Partnership
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