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Government outlines how local authorities can establish multi-academy trusts

The Department for Education has published further details of how local authorities can apply to establish a multi-academy trust (MAT) as part of a ‘test and learn’ exercise.

The DfE said this activity would take place “with a view to applying identified best practice nationwide following the conclusion of the planned academy trust regulatory review and once the Schools Bill has become law”.

The information on local authority established MATs was published alongside plans to move all schools into academy trusts. The Schools White Paper set a goal for every school to be in, or in the process of joining, a trust by 2030.

The Department meanwhile said it would lead strategic planning to address local challenges in the 55 Education Investment Areas (EIAs), such as how to best:

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  • strengthen existing local trusts;
  • attract strong trusts to operate locally;
  • support small, rural schools; and
  • manage the transition of all schools in an area to a fully trust led system.

More details of the regulatory review are to be published in the coming weeks, the DfE added, “to make sure that as all schools become part of an academy trust, the right framework is in place to hold trusts to account to high standards in their support of their schools, pupils, and local communities”.

The Schools Bill will bring the new regulatory standards developed through the review on to a statutory footing.

Schools Minister Baroness Barran said: “There has been a real energy and interest from across the school sector in our plans to transition all schools into strong academy trusts to help secure the best outcomes for children.

“Asking all schools to join strong trusts is not only borne out of our ambition for young people – but also because strong trusts provide wider opportunities for teachers and support for schools, helping deliver on our White Paper missions to drive up outcomes in maths and English for children leaving primary school and completing their GCSEs.

“I am determined that we capitalise on the shared enthusiasm I am seeing from across the sector to do the best for every child, by using the next year to develop a partnership approach to innovating, learning, and using data and evidence as we build the 2030 school system.”

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