South Pennine Academies FAQs

What is a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT)?

A multi-academy trust (MAT) is a group of academies working in collaboration as one entity to improve and maintain high educational standards across the trust. The multi-academy trust is governed through a single set of members and directors.

Who is the employer of the staff who work in a multi-academy trust?

The Trust or the Sponsor will be the new employer, employee contracts are moved over to the Trust, this is called TUPE.

What is TUPE?

The TUPE Regulations preserve employees' terms and conditions when a business or undertaking, or part of one, is transferred to a new employer. Any provision of any agreement (whether a contract of employment or not) is void so far as it would exclude or limit the rights granted under the Regulations.

What are the regulations and governance for a MAT?

There is no overriding education legislation that determines how MATs must be structured or managed. MATs are governed through their articles of association. The MAT will set out its governance through an annual statement that it shares with its stakeholders. The key responsibilities for the operation of the MAT lies with its Members, Trustees/Directors and Local Governors.

Who are Members of a Multi-Academy Trust?

Members are similar to shareholders of a company who have rights under relevant company law. The members generally have powers to appoint some of the trustees and they have the right to amend the Trust's articles of association (subject to the approval of the Charity Commission). The members of the Trust are individuals or corporate sponsors that wish to be engaged long term. The Department for Education recommends that Trusts have at least five members in total.

Who are Trustees of a Multi-Academy Trust?

The MAT has the structure of a charitable company and the trustees are therefore company directors and must comply with company law requirements. The Chair of the Board of Trustees will also be a Member to provide a connection between the Members and the Trustees. Members hold Trustees to Account. The Trustees are responsible for three core governance areas as carried out by a governing body in a maintained school. These include:

  • Providing the strategic direction and vision
  • Ensuring the Headteacher/Principal delivers against expectations and objectives and that they achieve positive educational results
  • Financial responsibility and stability