The Education Committee today published a report investigating the effectiveness of multi-academy trusts. The Committee found that evidence for the effectiveness of multi-academy trusts (MATs) is limited and varied, cautioning that there is significant work to be done before large-scale expansion of MATs is justified.

The Sutton Trust’s Chain Effects report shows that several academy chains failed to improve over a significant period of time, and this is used as a key piece of evidence in assessing MAT performance in the report. Our written evidence discussing the mixed record of academy chains and the need for more robust inspections of MATs is also quoted. We note that trusts which are doing well have expanded slowly in a limited geographic area, and recommend this as a better way forward than rapid expansion.

The report also found that some early MATs expanded too quickly, impacting pupil performance, and welcomed the development of a MAT ‘growth check’ to monitor expansion. Academies in certain areas struggle to attract sponsors, and further Government intervention to support them is necessary.  It suggested MATs could be better held accountable by Ofsted and local communities, and recommended further research and sharing of best practice in academies.

The full report can be found here.

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