To join the MAT, each school must first convert to being an academy, a legal and organisational process that is now well tried and tested. As an academy in the Red Kite Learning Trust the school will still receive the funding allocated to it by the Education Funding Agency, but coming through the MAT rather than the Local Authority. A small percentage of the funding, between 3-5% will be retained by the MAT to pay for the services they provide for the school.
The school will no longer have its budget ‘top-sliced’ by the Local Authority so this contribution should not present a challenge to the school’s finances. Each school that chooses to convert and become part of the MAT will receive a grant of £25k from the DfE to pay for the costs of conversion; our experience is that this is more than adequate to meet the costs incurred.
There is no ‘pot of gold’ available through becoming an academy but through taking advantage of shared procurement, shared services and other cost saving approaches we believe that the MAT approach makes very good financial sense in a situation where school budgets are being squeezed more than at any time during the last fifteen years.