Autumn MAT briefing and workshop: from aspiration to implementation

‎Tue‎ ‎18‎ ‎Sep  |  AQA

Free event for MAT CEOs, COOs and senior MAT leaders. Sessions led by the Regional Schools Commissioner, David Ross Education Trust, Smart Curriculum, AQA, Arbor Education, Judicium, CJK Associates

Time & Location
‎18‎ ‎Sep‎ ‎10‎:‎00 – ‎15‎:‎00
AQA, Stag Hill House, Guildford GU2 7XJ, UK

About The Event


10.00-10.15 Welcome and introductions: Chris Kirk (CJK Associates) and Angela Whitnall (AQA)

10.15-10.45 MAT strategy: from aspiration to implementation

In this interactive session, Chris Kirk, Director of CJK Associates, discusses how different MATs have defined their strategies, and reorganised governance, structures, capabilities and services in order to deliver them. He highlights some of the common pitfalls, and promising practices. Chris draws on academic research with Ambition School Leadership, insights from supporting over a dozen MATs on this journey, and first hand experience as a former CEO within the GEMS Education Group. MATs will have access to some of CJK Associates’ tools and templates to explore and discuss their own strategy and operating model.

10.45- 11.30 A CEO’s view

Rowena Hackwood, CEO of David Ross Education Trust, explains the journey that this MAT has been on. This large trust has made significant changes to both its educational, and its operational services. The Trust has had to make many difficult choices about autonomy and standardisation along the way. Rowena will set out the lessons she feels can be learned from this, as well the signs of success.

11.30-12.00 Working smarter not harder

Chris Jones explains the SMART Curriculum method, which a large number of schools and MATs have used to help refine their curriculum, ensuring investment is being focused where it’s needed. Chris will discuss specific implications for Primary, Secondary and Special schools.

12.00-12.45 Networking lunch

12.45-13.15 Update from the Regional School Commissioner’s Office, with Q&A

Maria Dawes, Deputy RSC for the South East, sets out the latest views and expectations from DFE as we commence the 2018/19 term. She will draw on her personal experience as a teacher and school leader, and her work on school improvement, as well as the work she has seen in MATs around the region.

13.15-13.45 Dos and don’ts of changing MAT structures: an HR and legal perspective

Alex Mehta, Director of Judicium, will discuss examples of ways in which MATs have restructured operations and education activity, highlighting some of the common issues, and how to get the best outcome for students, staff and the community from a MAT restructure. Judicium’s clients include NAHT, as well as thousands of schools and a large number of MATs.

13.45- 14.30 Balancing autonomy and standardisation in curriculum, pedagogy and assessment

For this topic we will spilt into two groups, one with a Primary focus and one with a Secondary focus

Primary MATs:

James Weatherill from Arbor Education will lead a debate on whether and how to standardise formative & summative assessments, what to give the schools discretion over, as well as what role baselines and other standardised tests play in triangulating pupil progress.

Secondary MATs:

Many MATs are considering what support they need from Awarding Organisations, including whether to align their AO across Academies. Angela Whitnall from AQA will present insights from recent research with a selection of MATs, and highlight the questions MATs could be asking themselves. Ange will explain how AQA is adapting its support proposition for KS 4 & 5 as a result of the findings. There will be the opportunity to discuss and ask questions during/after the presentation.

14.30-15.00 Panel discussion and conclusions

Chris Kirk will facilitate a panel and whole group discussion about key conclusions, questions, and hot topics for the next event.