Improvement at scale is fundamentally about organisational – rather than individual – capability; and for those MATs looking to scale up, it is important for their leaders to take a step back to move forward.
School improvement is the core business of multi-academy trusts (MATs). Ensuring that successful schools continue to thrive and that schools in challenging circumstances improve to the benefit of all pupils is at the very heart of what MATs do. A fundamental challenge for all MATs is making the important transition towards achieving and maintaining improvement at scale, moving from a place where improvement is achieved in a handful of schools to one where it is achieved and maintained across sometimes dozens of schools across a range of contexts. The journey can be perilous – there have been some stark examples of failure where MATs have attempted to grow and expand without clear plans, principles or frameworks for scaling up their improvement activity. Too many schools, pupils and parents have been let down as a result. Getting this right matters.