Initial thoughts on Ofsted’s summary evaluations of academy trusts

The last few weeks have seen Ofsted publish an initial batch of ‘summary evaluations’ of multi-academy trusts. These reports are the first published under its new approach to reviewing academy trusts, as outlined here: Overview of Ofsted’s approach to ‘summary evaluations’ of MATs.

Whilst it is early days, we have been watching with interest which aspects of trusts’ work Ofsted has chosen to include in their summary evaluation reports, giving us an insight into what they consider to be key to effective MAT development and delivery. Our view at Forum Strategy is that the MAT model is based on autonomy and freedom to respond to context and the needs and aspirations of this generation of children and young people. We believe that principles rather than specific practices (unless these relate to compliance and regulatory issues) should define what we mean at a national level by effective MATs. We most certainly do not want to see Ofsted’s summary evaluations interpreted as ‘best practice’ guides, where MATs then respond in a knee-jerk way to what other trusts ‘hailed’ by the inspectorate are doing in their own specific contexts.

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