Leadership training & development


MAT Senior Team Leadership Development Programme

Our two-day bespoke programme for individual trust leadership teams draws on a wide range of research and analysis, our deep knowledge of education policy and change, and our extensive experience in providing support and consultancy to growing MATs across England. We also draw upon Forum’s extensive bank of case studies and materials to support MAT development.

This programme provides MAT SLTs with ‘the space’ to reflect on their vision and how well it is embedded across the organisation, the sustainable development of their trust (based on our five key development areas for MATs: Five key development areas for MAT sector in 2017/18), and actions for the next stage of their journey.

The programme’s second day also provides senior teams with facilitated reflection time, encouraging team members to reflect on core leadership behaviours and values, how they model these to others, and how – as a team – they can further develop these traits.

For more information, contact: admin@forumstrategy.org

“Thank you for the training you delivered this week. As somebody who is new to MATs, I was able to gather a great deal of relevant and useful information in order to develop my knowledge and thinking. I really appreciated the opportunity to be part of the training days and found them invaluable.”

Rebecca Baker, Executive Headteacher and National Leader of Education, Dunstable

“The development day designed by Forum Strategy was an excellent springboard for the development of our multi academy trust. The day enabled us to crystallise our vision, purpose and reasons for growth, working alongside stakeholders from within the trust and partners outside the trust with whom we network.

The facilitation of the day was inspirational and has supported us in stepping forward and furthering our plans. All involved in the day now have a clear understanding of the moral purpose of our MAT, what we stand for and our non negotiables.”

Karen Bramwell, Executive Principal, Forward As One Academy Trust, 2016


Training and Development for Trustees and Trust boards

The success of multi-academy trusts fundamentally depends on strong, strategic and values-based trust boards. It is essential that trusts invest in the induction and ongoing development of their trustees – not least in a fast-changing education landscape that must adapt and respond to provide children and young people with the best possible start. Indeed, as the sector learns more about the characteristics and practices of successful MATs, it is essential that all trustees stay up to speed to ensure the success of their own organisations. Forum provides a number of individual training sessions for academy trustees, including:

Induction session for MAT trustees: the role and responsibilities of academy trustees and an introduction to the multi-academy trust landscape.

This session explores some of the fundamental aspects of the role of trustees and introduces new trustees to the MAT model. It covers:

  • The Nolan principles of public life.
  • The principles of effective governance.
  • Key provisions of the academies financial handbook & the governance handbook (including an introduction to the ‘scheme of delegation’).
  • The core components of successful governance in MATs.
  • The concept of multi-academy trusts, including the opportunities & challenges associated with their successful and sustainable development.
  • Case studies on both effective and poor examples of trust governance.
  • The role of the Chair & the board’s relationship with the CEO.

 This engaging and highly informative session – which is based on our own extensive research and case studies – can be provided for individual academy trust boards on request

Navigating a changing landscape: strategic reflection, and planning in response to an evolving context for education.

This is a half-day/evening session that is used by some MAT trust boards as an annual planning event. It is an opportunity to reflect on the key challenges and opportunities that their organisations currently face and to begin to plan ahead strategically for the next stage of their development. The sessions provide trust boards with key and relevant information and helps to facilitate important thinking and reflection time.

This year’s ‘Navigating a changing education landscape’ training session will encourage trustees to review and discuss the following areas:

  • The latest research and understanding on sustainable and successful MAT development and growth, and the key implications for trust boards’ planning going forward.
  • Understanding the recruitment and retention challenge and strategies for establishing your MAT as an employer of choice in a competitive recruitment climate.
  • Understanding the evolving financial climate for schools and reflecting on strategies for how MATs can achieve financial sustainability and efficiency in challenging times.

These sessions are informed by the latest research, our ongoing monitoring of government policy and the best practice case studies that we develop via our extensive networks of multi-academy trusts across the country.

It is a half-day session which can also be run from 4.30pm –7.30pm to accommodate trustees’ working patterns.

 For more information, contact: admin@forumstrategy.org

Regional MAT Leaders networks

Forum Strategy designs, develops and co-ordinates five regional CEO & Chair networks, working with our regional partners. The networks provide an ongoing developmental and learning opportunity for MAT CEOs and now, increasingly, for CEOs in other sectors, with inputs from external speakers, opportunities to network, and access to the latest research and policy developments.

Currently, networks are operating in the following regions:

  • East Midlands
  • Yorkshire & the Humber
  • South Midlands & London
  • North West
  • West Midlands

Members attend four sessions per year, including our national annual CEO & Chairs leadership conference, and receive regular updates and leadership thinkpieces to support them in their ongoing learning and development.

Members are also regularly invited to be involved in our policy roundtable events, which have included roundtables and follow-up reports on issues such as the recruitment and training of trustees, and possible options around the development of an inspection framework for multi-academy trusts.

Feedback from last year’s networks included:

“Very relevant and thought provoking, supporting us to move forward as an organisation.”

“As always, time to reflect with other people who share similar challenges”

“Very inspiring and thought provoking. Really moved on my thinking.”

For more information, contact: events@forumstrategy.org