A Multi Academy Trust is a number of academies who agree to work together within an over-arching Trust Board drawn from members of each local governing body. Blackpool Multi Academy Trust, established in September 2013, comprises Anchorsholme Academy (Primary), Devonshire Primary Academy (Primary) and Park Community Academy (Special School). This exciting partnership has the full backing of Blackpool Authority, which sees our MAT as a local solution to schools in challenging circumstances by providing school to school support.
Each school continues to have its own Headteacher and Governing Body with existing powers and retains responsibility for security and spending its own budget. Representatives from each Governing Body sit on the Trust Board and there is complete parity with regards to the responsibilities held by each representative and their role within the MAT.
As a MAT, we work together to strive for excellence in all we do. We have a clear focus on school improvement to ensure that all of the children achieve the best possible outcomes in all areas of school life. Each school serves its own community and has its own unique identity. Now working together as one organization, led by a single Board of Directors, we are able to offer our children the highest possible standard of teaching and learning.
Once established, the Blackpool MAT applied to become a sponsor for Revoe Primary School, which is a local school causing concern and its application was successful. With support from the MAT, Revoe Learning Academy was established in April 2014. The aim of the MAT is to work with the Headteacher and staff at Revoe to bring about rapid and sustainable educational improvement and to support them every step of the way along their journey from special measures to being judged as a good school by Ofsted. Directors of the MAT were delighted when Revoe Learning Academy’s Nursery 1 received a no notice Ofsted inspection before Christmas and was judged ‘good’.
Being part of a Multi Academy Trust has already provided the schools with a range of benefits. A number of staff have enhanced their personal and professional development through secondment opportunities and mentoring. There is now one Pupil Welfare Officer across the four MAT academies and an Educational Psychologist has been appointed, initially for one year, to work across all four academies, with the largest allocation of time directed to Revoe Learning Academy. A successful moderation/levelling exercise covering ‘writing’ has recently taken place for the MAT schools and a joint Behaviour Management event has been arranged. Park Community Academy has provided Positive Handling Training for its three partner schools, which was well received. The MAT Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators meet regularly to share good practice and the School Business Managers have secured economies of scale for a range of goods and services, including utilities and school uniforms.