Developing a process for new schools joining your trust: case study

The Flying High Trust share their approach to new schools joining the trust. Learn about their due diligence process, how they assess their own capacity to grow and how they induct the new school over the first year.

Last reviewed on 24 February 2022
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 44260
  1. Initial due diligence and capacity check
  2. Going into more depth
  3. The consultation phase (for maintained schools joining the trust)
  4. Onboarding and inducting a school
  5. Key tips from what they've learned

The Flying High Trust is a 30 primary school MAT based in the East Midlands. We spoke to Nick Layfield, the operations manager.

Initial due diligence and capacity check

Flying High first does an ‘expression of interest’ exercise with the school looking to join them. This is a one-page summary of the school's position, looking at:

  • Why they want to join the trust
  • Their staffing summary
  • Their 3-year financial forecast
  • Their site condition

This is assessed by the team members at Flying High with the relevant expertise in these areas.

They make sure there are no significant risks or liabilities that stand out – for example, finances showing significant debts/forecasting large deficits, or significant building disrepair.

If the school requires support, the trust makes sure to maintain a 3:1 ratio of schools that can provide support to schools that need it.