Frequently Asked Questions

We know that making the change from an independent school to being part of an Academy Trust is a big change. Below you’ll find our frequently asked questions which will help explain more about how the Trust works. If you’re an employee transferring into Marches Academy Trust, select our FAQs for employees for more information.
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Questions for Schools

Will the Marches Academy Trust want us to be the same as the other schools in the Trust?

The Marches Academy Trust is a family of schools; each school’s unique identity is celebrated. Autonomy within strategy means that Headteachers in our Trust lead their school, making the decisions that best support their learning community. The thread that links our schools is the strategic priorities which are created with all the Headteachers in the Trust.

Our Headteachers form the Marches Academy Trust Development Team. We meet six times year and have extended meetings at Headteacher conferences. Over the course of the academic year, Headteachers and the Executive team will share ideas on the way forward for the Trust.

What are the benefits of joining the Marches Academy Trust?

  • Family of schools that has children at the core of all that it does
  • We have a team of experienced leaders who support schools in SEND, Safeguarding, Curriculum design, Teaching and Learning, EYFS, sixth form, and Attendance. Our specialists work tirelessly to support schools to achieve their goals.
  • Cross Trust collaboration and support
  • ‘One Voice’ – providing the opportunity for children and young people to work together across the Trust
  • Support from the Executive team when needed by the school
  • Recruitment, retention, and growth of staff
  • Excellent financial management
  • Headteachers manage their own budgets and reserves
  • Ability to bid for capital projects annually
  • HR advice and support
  • IT management and support
  • Marketing and Comms support
  • Trust Governance Officer who supports with all governance matters
  • MAT Conference
  • Headteacher conferences
  • Variety of professional learning opportunities for teaching and associate staff
  • Access to high quality training from Alliance of Leading Learning (ALL)
  • Initial Teacher Trainees
  • Health and Safety guidance and quality assurance
  • GDPR guidance and quality assurance
  • Procurement to drive down costs
  • Access to legal advice
  • Schools Advisory Service wellbeing and medical support (insurance service)
  • Community Plans
  • PE and sport support
  • PE apprentices
  • Help with bids for extra funding
  • Sustainability working party
  • Wellbeing initiatives
  • Access to counselling services for children, young people and staff

Will the Trust change the name of our school?

No – the name of the school will stay the same.

Will there be changes to the term times?

Term dates for all our Trust schools are the same and are broadly in line with the Local Authority term dates, but there are some differences. Term dates are discussed and agreed with Headteachers well in advance and over the last few years, our schools have benefitted from a two week break during the autumn term.

Will the Trust change our uniform?

The Trust will only work with Headteachers when they have requested an opportunity to look at how they refresh their schools and uniforms. The Headteacher and their team can then work with our marketing and communications team to refresh their logos and uniform.

Will there be changes to the length of the school day?

There are no plans to change the length of the school day. Changes could be made but these would only be done after full consultation with parents and staff.

If we join the Trust, will staff have to go to work in other schools in the Trust?

The Trust does not move staff from school to school unless the member of staff is involved in a professional development opportunity to share ideas with colleagues in other schools. This is all done with staff and not to staff; no one is made to go to another school. Members of staff in the Quality Assurance team will work in schools across the Trust as this is part of their role and responsibilities.

What happens to our governing body?

The governing body of each school will remain in place as they are an important part of how a school moves forward. The scheme of delegation clearly sets out the roles and responsibilities of our Local Governing Bodies (LGB).

Our LGBs are important contributors to their schools and the Trust. The Chair of Trustees meets regularly with Chairs of governing bodies as we want to know governors’ thoughts on the way forward. We also encourage representatives from LGBs to attend our Education Committee meetings and Finance Committee meetings so that they can see how the Trust works and understand the Trustee roles. This also helps us to talent spot future Trustees and ensure there is transparency in our family of schools.

How long does it take to join the Trust?

There is a process to follow which is explained in How to Join Our Trust. Schools that wants to join the Trust work in partnership with us to determine the time frame that suits their context. Some schools have converted within 6 months, other schools have worked with us over an 18-month period.

Will my terms and conditions of employment change?

Under TUPE regulations the pay and terms and conditions of staff transferring into the trust are protected.  The Trust follows School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions and works in line with NJC pay rates for non-teaching staff.  Our staff continue to benefit from Teachers’ Pension Scheme and Local Government Pension scheme.  Any changes to ither terms and conditions would be subject to consultation with staff and unions.

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