“Academisation”, Ofsted and Multi-Academy Trusts

“Academisation” and the growth of Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) have not been straightforward. In a guest post Lee Coley, of Stone King LLP, notes some of the implications for Church of England schools


Ofsted’s letter of 21 May 2015 to the Chief Executive of CfBT Schools Trust (an offshoot of the CfBT Education Trust, itself formerly the Centre for British Teachers: hence the acronym), was made public on 11 September. Following its publication, the qualitative assessment of CfBT’s rapid growth is interesting to note. What is particularly interesting is the critical approach Ofsted has taken to commenting on the overall strategy of CfBT, a strategy undoubtedly condoned by the Department for Education (DfE) through the fact of the number of conversions into CfBT.

Whilst Ofsted is required under its Framework to comment on leadership and governance, the Framework is worded as being an assessment of those aspects vis-à-vis the individual school being inspected. It is not a statutory framework phrased to focus on a multi-academy trust (MAT) first and then on its schools. Any assessment of the MAT is a consequence of inspecting the school. Continue reading