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Multi Academy Trust Status

South Manchester Academy Trust

Multi-Academy Trust Consultation

The Governing Body of Altrincham College is proposing to convert from Single Academy Trust status to Multi- Academy Trust Status. The conversion process is a relatively straight forward legal process, part of which requires the Governing Body being committed to undertaking a full consultation with all interested parties and taking those views into account before a final decision is reached.  Further information is available in the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section, which provides further information on Multi Academy Trusts.

The Background

Altrincham College converted to Academy status on the 1st September 2012, operating as a Single Academy Trust.  At this current time (March 2016) approximately two thirds of all Secondary schools in the country now have Academy status.  In 2012 Altrincham College was awarded the accolade of National Support School status and has engaged in a number of school to school support roles since this time. Supporting and working with other Secondary schools across the region has not only helped those schools being supported, but also ensures that we are constantly and continuously aware of developing and sharing the very best practice in  teaching and learning. This benefits our own Altrincham College students enormously.

Establishing a Multi Academy Trust

The Government’s clear intention is that all schools in England (Primary and Secondary) will become Academies within the next 6 years and that the Local Authorities’ role in supporting schools will be limited to specific statutory responsibilities. As an outstanding school, with a proven track record in raising student achievement and in supporting other schools, we have been encouraged by the Department for Education (DFE) to become a joint lead in establishing a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT).

The proposal is for Altrincham College and Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College (based in Stockport) to establish the South Manchester Academy Trust.  Altrincham College would continue to operate, just as now, as an 11-18 school, but within a Multi-Academy Trust rather than a Single Trust.  Altrincham College will be the joint lead in the newly established Trust.  Admissions to Altrincham College, our number on roll, the daily operation of the school, the leadership of the school and the staffing would all remain unaffected by the change in status.

Cheadle & Marple College has a ‘good’ Ofsted rating, provides for 1600 learners and shares a very similar ethos and vision to Altrincham College.  Both College leaders are recognised as outstanding and inspirational. Working together we believe we can create a high achieving, collaborative educational network across the South Manchester region, which places its students’ welfare, resilience and preparation for future life at the very heart of the Trust’s core purpose.

Most importantly, the Governors and leadership team at Altrincham College will be joint leaders of the Trust and therefore, our current values will not change through joining the Trust. We are confident that, over time, other schools, both Primary and Secondary will want to join our educational network.

In December 2015 Altrincham College and Cheadle & Marple were successful in submitting a joint bid to become an Academy Sponsor. This means that the DFE fully supports our proposed vision to work in partnership with a small number of other schools across the region.

Over the next few years all schools will become members of Multi Academy Trusts, as opposed to continuing to operate as Single Trusts or Maintained schools. This direction of travel was made explicit in the Government Education White Paper (Education excellence everywhere) recently published (March 2016). We believe it is important for all Altrincham College students that we are joint leaders in establishing our own Trust, rather than joining an already established Trust.

Finally, it is important to emphasise that any future developments within and around a proposed MAT will be underpinned by our complete commitment to maintaining outstanding educational provision for all our young people at Altrincham College. Our ethos and vision as an inclusive, family-centred community school remain unchanged.

What is a Multi Academy Trust?

A Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) is where a number of Schools/Academies join together and form an overarching Trust with a board of directors answerable to the Trust’s members.

You can find more information about MAT’s on the DFE website:

What are the benefits of being a MAT?

In the School’s opinion the benefits are considerable:

  • High quality leadership and governance with a clear focus on strategic development, teaching and learning and accountability.

  • Building sustainability through strategic succession planning.

  • The opportunity for teachers and support staff to share good practice and to benefit from an enhanced professional development programme that adds real value to the education of all students in the Trust’s Academies.

  • Efficiencies in administrative functions and joint procurement, which is a necessity in these more difficult austere times, to the advantage of the students.

The Process

  • The consultation opens on Thursday 24th March and will take place throughout April and early May, closing on Friday 6th May 2016.

  • You are invited to submit your comments and views on this proposal to the e mail address  There will be a drop in session for parents, friends and stakeholders of the school on Wednesday 4th May between 5 and 6pm, where the Headteacher and Governors will be available to answer any questions you may have. There will be a drop in session for staff on Friday 29th April from 3pm in the Sixth Form LRC.

  • Written responses can be posted to:

Altrincham College
Green Lane
WA15 8QW

Mr R J Aubrey
Chair of Governors