Financial benchmarking for multi-academy trusts (MATs)

Effective financial benchmarking is harder for MATs than for standalone schools. Get expert advice on using internal and external benchmarking to improve your trust's financial health, and learn how to find trusts to benchmark against.

Last reviewed on 17 February 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
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  1. Internal benchmarking is an important tool
  2. How to conduct effective external benchmarking
  3. Use the 'view my financial insights' tool to compare against similar schools

Our associate expert Graeme Hornsby has significant experience of school business management, including working with academies and multi-academy trusts (MATs).

We spoke to him about how financial benchmarking could work at MAT level, and relay his advice below.

Internal benchmarking is an important tool

The most meaningful benchmarking you can carry out is internal benchmarking between your schools. 

As with a regular school-level benchmarking exercise, your trust's internal benchmarking might look at:

  • The percentage of each school’s budget spent on staffing
  • Facilities spending
  • Spending on course or curriculum materials

Look behind the headline figures

For example, rather than simply looking at the overall percentage of spending on staff, you'll be able to look at details such as the spread of teacher and support staff salaries across the pay scales, or the 'contact ratio' (the percentage of staff