No way back: How a MAT disbanded a school governing body because it asked to leave

The school claims the multi-academy trust (MAT) said they could leave if they were unhappy – but the chain disputes that such assurances were given

Schools are being warned about the finality of joining academy chains, after a primary school governing body was when disbanded when it tried to leave.

Governors of Greengate Lane Academy in Sheffield wanted to hold a formal vote on leaving Reach4  – a multi-academy trust (MAT) in Sheffield and South Yorkshire – which has since be rebranded as Astrea.

But before the vote could be taken, the MAT dissolved the school’s local governing body on 4 April and replaced it with a transition-management board.

Read on…


7 thoughts on “No way back: How a MAT disbanded a school governing body because it asked to leave

  1. This is ‘no story’ story.

    Before a school joins a Multi-Academy Trust there is full due diligence on both sides and consultation with staff, parents and other stakeholders. This includes reports from accountants and legal advice. This process makes it clear that once the papers are signed that is it – control of the school passes to the MAT. No if. No buts. Absolute control moves from the school to the MAT.

    Some control MAY be given to the school if the MAT wants to do this In the case of Greengate Lane the MAT agreed to set up a local governing body. The Terms of Reference and role of the local governing body will be set by the MAT, as will delegated powers (if any).

    In no circumstances can a local governing body elect to remove the academy from the MAT.

    The only way that an Academy can leave a Multi Academy Trust is through a re-brokering deal with the Regional Schools Commissioner. IF this happens it would be for the MAT to approach the RSC and ask them for help to find a new MAT which is rare.

    The other way, much more common, is for the RSC to instruct a MAT that it must give up control of an Academy in the same way they can instruct a single academy school to join a Trust – usually because the school is failing and/or the MAT is not capable of improving the school quickly enough

    In the case of Greengate Lane – the MAT is right to take back control. Leaving the local governing body in place would be unsettling for the school community because they are causing upset and/or raising false hope of a path to freedom and another MAT which cannot happen


        • I assumed nothing.

          I asked a question based on the statement “In the case of Greengate Lane – the MAT is right to take back control.”, which is a rather definitive statement given the information which appears to be in the public domain.

          I had rather suspected that the GL governors had been upset because the MAT had swiped the school’s carried forward reserves having indicated that they wouldn’t.

          I have no interest in schools other than as a parent and a grandparent, but with no interest in Greengate Lane School or any MAT.


      • I do NOT have any interest to declare.
        I had never heard of Greengate Lane school/academy until this post; I had to look it up just to find out what part of Sheffield it was in.
        I had heard of Reach4 Multi Academy Trust but did not know it’s name had changed.

        However, I am a school governor with 15 years experience across a number of schools. Because of this I understand Academisation and Multi Academy Trusts but nothing to do with the school/academy/MAT that this post refers to


  2. Pingback: The Week That Was – Last Weeks Top Ten 20th May 2017 | Rotherham Politics

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