Developing Highly Successful Local Authority MATs

As part of a test and learn exercise, the Department for Education (DfE) has invited Local Authorities to express an interest in establishing their own Multi-Academy Trust (MAT). A small number of projects will be selected to move forward under this new initiative which seeks to identify how the process to establish a new MAT needs to be adapted to allow the successful delivery of a future rollout.

Place Group has been helping establish and grow successful MATs since the very start of the Academies Programme nearly 20 years ago, and our professionals are on hand to help Local Authorities navigate the establishment of their MATs with our unique experience in supporting Local Authorities, sponsors, the DfE, and creating our own MAT of ten Good and Outstanding schools in some of the most challenging boroughs in the country.

We know what makes a compelling case for the DfE and how to meet its criteria for approval. We also know how to put in place the governance, operational and educational models necessary to build a solid foundation for success and growth within the context of each area and the communities that they serve.

Whether you are part of the test and learn cohort of Local Authority-established MATs, or you are developing your longer-term plans, our comprehensive services will be relevant and tailored for your requirements.

Contact us to find out more about our 1:1 workshop!

T: 0845 548 5677


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We provide the following support:

Development of comprehensive plans outlining how the trust will operate in the five key areas of: governance, leadership, finance, workforce and school improvement arrangements. These plans will be vital to the Local Authority to clearly present the offer to school governors and leaders and progress positive discussions regarding schools joining the MAT.

Submission of compelling TCaF applications and/or discretionary funding bids to secure essential funds to support successful growth.

Production of a tailored communication and engagement plan setting out how the new MAT will sit in the local and regional landscape and how it can contribute to collaborative working to address the needs of the area.

Completion of a wide-reaching stakeholder consultation which clearly articulates the plans for the establishment of the MAT and actively seeks feedback from school governors, leaders, staff, parents and pupils on an ongoing basis.

Advice and guidance throughout the application and establishment stages from colleagues who have established and grown high-performing MATs from inception through to consolidation.

Our 20 years’ experience in the following areas gives us the confidence to ensure the successful establishment of your MAT:

Delivery of numerous pilots that have informed national rollouts, including:

  • Exemplar school designs and specifications for the DfE’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme
  • Pilot Wave Local Education Partnerships to deliver BSF
  • Learning Environments for the Future modular buildings
  • Schools Environment Design and Skills for the Construction Industry Council
  • Academies programme pilot as Education and Project Management framework advisers to the DfE
  • First Free School application for the Free Schools programme
  • Regional Buying Hubs for the DfE
  • Early Years and Childcare best practice for the Local Government Association


  • Establishment of our own high-performing MAT in London and the South East.
  • Project management of 60 new Free Schools – all opening successfully.
  • Free school application support to nearly 100 groups and organisations.
  • Support to over 100 schools through the academy conversion process – project managing and ensuring the day-to-day conversion activity does not impact teaching and learning.
  • Successfully supported 30 MATs with their strategic growth plans and TCaF applications.


Our support will be provided by colleagues who have first-hand experience of establishing and growing a MAT successfully, as well as working as Senior Officers in Local Authorities nationally.

Ask us any questions or book a free 1-2-1 workshop by emailing Sarah Ferguson