Frequently Asked Questions
What is Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust (LAAT)?
LAAT is a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) which was set up by the Diocese of Lincoln to build a mutually supportive family of academies who support each other in providing the very best outcomes for their pupils. LAAT is dedicated to supporting school improvement and Christian distinctiveness, whilst maintaining each school as a special and unique place in the heart of its unique context.
LAAT has been approved by the Department of Education as an academy sponsor to operate a number of academies under a single charitable company. It is a company limited by guarantee. An exempt charity.
Why do schools join LAAT?
Joining LAAT not only offers business support but also a wide range of benefits associated with supporting students and enhancing educational achievements and success. Schools who choose to join LAAT do so for the following reasons:
- To be part of something bigger
- To strengthen and develop leadership
- As a mechanism to share resources, best practice, expertise
- As a vehicle to support other schools
- To strengthen governance
- To meet business management needs to allow the school to concentrate on teaching and learning
- To deal with underperformance
- To benefit from economies of scale
How many schools are in LAAT?
LAAT originally began with 4 academies in 2013 and by June 2018 LAAT has grown to 14 academies with more in the immediate pipeline and many more perceiving LAAT as an attractive option, but we will not allow the Trust to grow beyond a point where its core values or educational benefits are compromised.
What are the criteria for schools joining LAAT?
Any school, including non-church school, may apply to join LAAT. In order to ensure that LAAT remains a viable organisation able to provide adequate and appropriate support to all our academies, effective due diligence will be undertaken on any school wishing to join the trust. The areas which are reviewed are:
- Vision and ethos
- Property and land
- Student outcomes
- Quality of Teaching
- Risk Management
- Community Relations
- IT infrastructure
Schools which fall below the set criteria will be asked to work (with our support) to meet the criteria before joining LAAT.
Who makes the decision whether a school can join?
The decision is taken by the governing body of the school in question, along with the DBE (for church schools), the Regional Schools Commissioner, the Secretary of State and the Directors of LAAT
Who will be responsible for the running and management of the school?
When a school joins LAAT, the Trust becomes the employer and is responsible for the overall effectiveness of the academy. LAAT is accountable to the DfE and must meet certain defined standards and the Directors are responsible for making sure that the Trust achieves its objectives. As an academy you will continue to be monitored by Ofsted and SIAMS (for church schools).
If we convert will we lose our individuality?
LAAT recognise that every school has their own identity and we want to celebrate this. LAAT sees that as a key benefit of being part of the Trust. The school will continue to be responsible for its day to day operations as defined within the Trust’s Scheme of Delegation. The Trust reserves the right to step in where necessary, for example if there was a strong likelihood of significant risk to either the individual school or the LAAT as a whole.
Will there be any common branding? Logos? Mottos? Uniform?
There is no expectation that your school uniform, name or distinctiveness would be altered, unless you wish it to be, as a result of joining LAAT. Signage and documents will need to reflect that the academy is part of LAAT and academies in the Trust use both their individual and the LAAT corporate logo as part of their branding.
Who are LAAT’s Directors?
The Board of Directors are appointed by the Diocesan Board of Education (except for the Methodist appointment) and are both Directors of the Multi-Academy Trust for the purposes of the Companies Act and Trustees in recognition of the charitable status of the Trust. Their core functions include strategic planning, holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils and overseeing the financial performance of the organisation.
Directors are selected on the basis of the skills and knowledge that they can bring to the Trust.
The current Directors are detailed here.
What changes may occur to local governing bodies?
When a school joins a Multi-Academy Trust, it ceases in governance terms to exist as a separate legal entity. The Directors of the Multi-Academy Trust will delegate powers to the local board members in accordance with the LAAT’s scheme of delegation.
What would happen to ownership of our School land and building?
For Church schools, the land and buildings remain with the site trustees, usually the Diocese or vicar and church wardens. The playing fields are typically held by the Local Authority and a long lease (125 years) based on the DfE model would be granted by the LA to the Trust.
Who agrees the priorities for each Academy?
The local board based on advice from the Head Teacher and/or central LAAT staff.
Will pay scales remain the same?
Staff will continue to be employed on the terms and conditions they had prior to the transfer. No changes to terms and conditions would be made as a result of a school becoming part of our MAT, but of course we all recognise that things may need to change in any school over time. If there are any necessary amendments in the future it would only be after consultation with staff and unions. For teaching staff, LAAT follows the Burgundy Book and the School Teachers Pay & Conditions Document and for support staff, LAAT follows the Green Book.
Will each school still have a Head Teacher and leadership team?
Individual staffing models will be specific to each academy and led by need. It is recognised that LAAT will be supporting rather than replacing the many and varied structures within our academies.
Who will be responsible for new appointments at the academy?
The Academy Head Teacher and local board are responsible for all new appointments as long as these are within the agreed budget. The only exception to this are the Head and the governors themselves.
Will staff be expected to work/cover/share expertise across academies within LAAT / or their Hub?
All LAAT academies are expected to share ideas, contribute to best practice and knowledge acquisition. Any staffing arrangements arising from this will be worked out with full consultation with staff and their academy. We would hope any such opportunities to gain other experience would be seen by staff as a development opportunity and beneficial to all.
Can staff be moved to other academies in LAAT to provide cover?
Generally, our contracts of employment are specific to individual academies. Only where an individual has a peripatetic contract, or specific arrangements are made with an individual and their academy will anyone move location.
What are the implications for staff development, promotion and other career prospects?
All LAAT employees, whatever their role, are encouraged to broaden their knowledge, experience and skills. The intention is to create more opportunities to learn, develop, motivate and retain staff as well as grow future leaders who are used to working in a MAT environment.