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Resources for multi-academy trust leadership development programmes

Our resources for multi-academy trust leadership development (for all members of our MAT CEO networks and other clients) can be accessed here

Our provision and support for multi-academy trusts includes:

Consultancy support to multi-academy trusts

Forum Education has an excellent reputation for providing a range of services to MATs, including strategic planning; bid writing; leadership and organisational development (including training for trustees), and marketing and media services. A number of MATs subscribe to our weekly policy, strategy and research briefing and our fortnightly funding, grants and resources briefing. Forum Education provides the content and delivery for three regional MAT CEO networks. Find out more about our consultancy work here

MAT Leadership Senior Team Development Programme

Our two day ‘away sessions’ for MAT leadership teams draws on a wide range of research and analysis, our deep knowledge of education policy and change, and our experience in providing support and consultancy to growing MATs across England. This programme provides MAT SLTs with ‘the space’ to reflect on their vision, their culture, the sustainable development of their organisations, and how they can plan for the next stage of their journey.

The programme’s second day 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.

The programme is delivered either at our training centre in Southwell ( a minster town in the heart of Nottinghamshire and just 20 minutes from the A1 and 30 minutes from the M1 ) or at your MAT’s head office.


(Evening meal and accommodation provided if based in Southwell.)


  • Considering the core elements of a successful leadership culture, including:
    • Trust
    • Consistency
    • Adaptability
    • Accountability
    • Innovation
    • Collaboration

MATs receive a full – confidential – report of their two days with us, supporting them to move forward on areas of strategic planning and professional development.

MAT Development Sessions

Our MAT Development Sessions are designed to involve a range of stakeholders in the visioning, strategic planning and development of the organisation. More information can be accessed here: Academy Trust Development Days

MAT Peer to Peer review

We strongly believe that the success of multi-academy trusts is based on focused collaboration and peer to peer learning. During times of growth and development, it is important to gain the insight and challenge of others to help inform our strategy and planning. Forum Education’s MAT to MAT peer review model is based on the very latest thinking and best practice in this area.

Not only is this programme grounded in the ethos and principles of effective peer review ( our five ‘C’s’ – concentrated, confidential, challenging, considerate and constructive), but it is also informed by our work with dozens of MATs and the very latest research and understanding available around the successful and sustainable growth of MATs.

Indeed, Forum Education facilitates and provides leadership develop to three regional MAT CEO networks in England – working with dozens of academy trusts across the country. We have developed a strong reputation for both training and consultancy that enables MATs to develop with care.

Our peer review process is based on the involvement of two participant MATs, who work together to undertake the review with supportive facilitation from Forum Education.

The peer review process involves:

  • An initial half-day training and self-audit session
  • A self-assessment process against a key development area
  • Two peer review visit days (one per MAT)
  • A feedback session
  • A final report providing a summary and next steps for development

For more information, please visit: MAT Peer Review (facilitated and designed by Forum Education)

Training sessions for trustees

Forum provides a number of individual training sessions for academy trustees, including:

  • The role and responsibilities of trustees
  • What an effective trust board looks like (including best practice and competencies)
  • An overview (and self-assessment against) what we know about the sustainable growth and development of multi-academy trust
  • Strategies for better recruitment and retention – becoming an employer of choice
  • Players in the system: the role of Ofsted, DfE, RSCs and others in relation to multi-academy trusts
  • General updates on education policy and strategic developments (as requested)

Sessions are usually delivered to meetings of the board of trustees.



“The development day designed by Forum Education 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


“Forum Education enabled our trust to review its progress and inform future planning. The quality of the information and presentation provided was excellent and made things clear and easily able to be understood.

Forum Education provided exactly what was required as our MAT reached a critical time in its development. As a board of trustees, we have been able to make clear decisions for our future direction and Forum provided us with a positive starting point.

I would unreservedly recommend them to schools to facilitate accurate assessment of their present position and what is required for future planning.”

Pam Burton Chair Trustees, Brighter Futures MAT, 2017

March 15, 2017