The Diocese already has a number of academies. Some academies are part of Multi Academy Trusts (MATS) with more than one academy in them and some are ‘empty MATS’ with only the original converting school which are yet to grow. There are also Single Academy Trusts (SATS) who are companies in their own right created historically which sit outside of a larger MAT.
In Newcastle Diocese there are 4 ‘Mixed MATs’ with an overarching governance structure that is designed to protect both the ethos of the Church Schools and non-Church schools within the Trust. In these mixed MATs three out of the five members are Church appointments (one in consultation with the Trust). Overtime the Diocese has developed a strong and trusted relationship with the Mixed MATs and as such continues to support their growth with Church of England Schools where they are the best solution for those schools. Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust is a Church of England Academy Trust within the Diocese which comprises 7 Church of England Schools and a Special School.
The full list of Newcastle Trusts is available here.
Newcastle and Durham Dioceses together operate a Diocesan MAT, the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Learning Trust, which contains 17 Church of England Primary Schools.
All of our Trusts actively welcome non-Church of England Schools; One Excellence and Northern Lights both have non-Church Schools that have joined them where children flourish and grow. 1Excellence is a mixed MAT with one non-church Member. However, the governance of the remainder of these Trusts at Member Level is that all members (apart from the Chair) are nominated by the Church of England in some form.
Between each Diocese the Church of England educates approximately 25,000 children; 43 out of 107 schools are currently academies (40%). In order for a Trust to access Capital Funding the Trust needs to have in excess of 3000 children in mainstream education or slightly less if designated SEND Provision is part of the Trust. Similarly, in order to have the capacity to deliver effective school improvement a Trust needs a number of successful schools with effective leadership structures that have the capacity to support others. For these reasons, both Dioceses have recognized the value in reducing the number of MATS and SATS to ensure sustainable growth for existing Trusts and facilitate longer term viability within a school system that has capacity to support school improvement across our many schools. The consultation on funding for Local Authorities has now concluded and will lead to a 50% cut in local authority grants for school improvement support.
In the Newcastle Diocese all existing Trusts already comprise a number of schools and will be supported to grow.
More information, including guidance on how to join a Trust, and how to support vulnerable and rural schools, is available here.