Ofsted's MAT research: key learnings and recommendations

Find out what schools in trusts find helpful about their MATs, and where the schools and the MATs face challenges. This research also covers what most MATs do similarly and what differs from trust to trust - use our summary to get straight to the bits you can learn from.

Last reviewed on 14 April 2022
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  1. What schools find useful from their trusts
  2. Issues that schools and MATs face (and tips for avoiding them)
  3. What most MATs do similarly
  4. Where most MATs vary
  5. Ofsted's recommendations and changes

This is a summary of Ofsted's July 2019 research into MAT benefits, challenges and functions. You don't need to treat the findings as gospel, but they can still give you a good steer on:

  • What trusts are doing that helps, and what they do that hinders, their schools
  • How other trusts are approaching centralisation vs school autonomy
  • Ofsted's recommendations - both for what trusts should do, and for how the DfE should change the way MATs are inspected going forward

What schools find useful from their trusts

These benefits aren't likely to come as a surprise to you, but it should still be useful to think about how you maximise each of these areas.

'Back-office' support

These functions run better because the trust can employ central specialists and manage them better than headteachers at school level School leaders can then focus on the education side of

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