Williamson wants 'far more schools' moving into MATs

Government is looking at finding ways to move more schools into multi-academy trusts by 2025, says education secretary

John Roberts

Academies: Education secretary Gavin Williamson has said he wants to see more schools in multi-academy trusts by 2025

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has said the government is actively looking for a way to get more schools into multi-academy trusts.

He told an online conference today that he wanted far more schools “residing in strong families” of multi-academy trusts by 2025.

His made his comments as a new report revealed that the growth of multi-academy trusts slowed last year.

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Speaking at the Foundation for Education Development’s National Education Summit, Mr Williamson said: “Partnerships are also fundamental between schools.

Academies: Schools 'benefit from being in a multi-academy trust'

"We know that schools benefit from being in a strong family of schools – in other words, a multi-academy trust.

“Multi-academy trusts are powerful vehicles for improving schools – by sharing expertise, working collaboratively and driving improvements. It is living proof of the old adage that a problem shared is a problem halved.

“This is something we want to see more of, because it shows time and again how the MAT model consistently improves outcomes for pupils.

“By 2025 we want to see far more schools residing in strong families than we do today, and are actively looking at how we can make that happen.”

The ninth annual Kreston Academies Benchmark Report said that MAT growth in 2020 was 7.8 per cent, down from 10.8 per cent in 2019.

Mr Williamson also told his audience that the effort to support pupils to catch up on learning lost during the pandemic was “not going to be a quick fix".

He added: “Even with the best of intentions, you cannot make up all this lost ground overnight, especially for those disadvantaged children who were already struggling to keep up. Which is why we are committed to providing a huge programme of catch-up measures.”

He highlighted the government’s plan for a new one-off £302 million Recovery Premium and making £200 million available for secondary schools to deliver face-to-face summer schools to target individual pupils’ needs.

Mr Williamson also highlighted the government’s plan for a national network of behaviour hubs, and said the lead schools for these hubs would be selected in the next few weeks.

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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