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Growing MATs: The importance of effective communication

Thursday, 28 March 2024 by Weduc

The importance of communication for growing MATs

No matter how many schools are in a Multi Academy Trust (MAT), the key to the successful running of a MAT is communication. But these days, it’s not just enough to ensure the MAT under your leadership is running smoothly and giving every pupil access to a quality education. With the expectation that fewer MATs should have taken over the running of more schools by 2030, MATs now need to consider the potential for growth the coming years.

As MATs keep recruiting new schools and growing their MATs, the need for effective MAT communication is only increasing. Keep reading to find out how MATs can use communication to support their growth.


The reality of MAT growth

At the time of writing, there are 1,170 multi-academy trusts with 2 or more schools and a further 1,502 single-academy trusts. However several articles cite that a MAT only becomes economically successful and sustainable when it has over 20 schools.  

In addition, the government mandated in its 2022 schools’ whitepaper that we are now on the final step towards a full academy system. That means every state school needs to be part of, or in the process of joining, a “strong trust” by 2030, and MATs need to continue recruiting new schools until this vision is a reality.

As a result, MATs are likely to be in a continual state of growth over the next few years. However continual growth poses its own challenges. This is because growth requires MATs to work with gradually increasing numbers of stakeholders, staff, pupils, and parents. And this requires the ability to adapt to change, not just at the MAT level, but at the individual school level as well.


MAT communication as a foundation for growth 

As any organisation grows, good communication becomes absolutely essential. The marker of successful communication is when all parties have understood the same information from the same message and are therefore on the same page. While this seems like a relatively simple premise, in a MAT with tens of different schools, thousands of staff, pupils, parents - and more being recruited, the logistical complexity of ensuring every recipient of a particular message receives the same information also grows.

This is because, when a MAT first recruits a new school, the responsibility for communications up and to this point has been with that school. The transitioning from existing school processes to adopting new MAT processes will inevitably take time. Also, some MATs haven’t yet centralised their communications, which means that every single school in that MAT still has the full responsibility for their own communications. Consequently, communication isn’t standardised across the trust, leading to inconsistencies not just between schools but within schools as well.

This also means that the school governing bodies, staff members, parents, and pupils are all used to receiving information in one particular way. So, not only do MATs have multiple schools all communicating differently, but they also have thousands of pupils, parents, staff and governing body members who are used to things being done in a certain way and could be resistant to change.  


MAT communication strategies: Consistency amidst expansion 

There are multiple problems with the above. Most importantly, MATs need to ensure all the schools in their trust are engaged in the same shared vision for the future to implement the changes needed to move all their schools towards the same shared goal.

Simply put, this means all the schools within a trust need to be on the same page. And they cannot all be on the same page when communications throughout the trust are disjointed. Joined up MAT communications, as a result, requires consistency.

And the best way to implement consistency across all communications within the trust is to centralise communications. By centralising MAT communications, you can ensure that all messages start at trust level and are disseminated in exactly the same way down to individual schools, staff, pupils and parents. Similarly, it means that school-level communication can filter up to trust-level and inform the trust’s strategy moving forward.

Additionally, centralising your communications can ensure you’re always delivering consistent messaging across all the schools in your trust. After all, we all know how messages can become skewed as they make their way down a chain. Centralisation is the best way to ensure that the message delivered is what you actually meant to say. In the same way, you can also ensure that messages consistently reflect the trust’s brand identity – for example, by using templated designs that give all your messaging the same look.


MAT communication strategies: Implementing consistency

The easiest way to implement this kind of consistency is using educational software. Communication software that’s been designed for schools and MATs, like Reach More Parents, can enable trust-wide communications to be written and sent across the trust at the click of a button. Communication software can also provide one consistent way for all schools within the trust to communicate day-to-day. This includes top down communications from your central trust team, and communication between schools and pupils’ homes, using templated designs that ensure messaging is consistent whether it’s from the MAT or individual school.

However, when implementing a core piece of software designed to power communications across the trust, it’s important to ensure empowering your school leaders and staff members with the skills and training they need to utilise this software to its full effect. This includes enabling them to use the software to keep them connected during the school day and disconnected after hours, because better connection is all about putting boundaries in place, rather than stripping them down.


Your own Trust-branded communications platform

Whether centralised or de-centralised, ReachMoreParents will help to unify your school Trust’s communications. With ReachMoreParents, bring all the schools in your Trust together into a single, Trust-branded communications platform. And, at the same time, provide a central app for Parents.

With ReachMoreParents, you can streamline communications across your Trust in one swoop while also integrating your core branding into all your communications. Meaning you can implement a consistent look and feel across your Trust and create a sense of one, overarching culture.

Plus, there are all the benefits of our software which can help you to reach more parents, increase responses and reduce staff workload. These include:

Trust Branded Parent App

Elevate your brand with your own Trust-branded parent communications platform.


Email, text, in-app messaging and social media integration.

Dynamic Newsfeed

Safe modern, social media-style newsfeed.

Digital forms

Collect consent and data online.

Language translations

Improve accessibility by translating into a range of languages. 

UK Based support

For schools AND parents


MAT communications: Let’s talk

Our team would love to show you how our software can help you streamline your communications and grow your trust. Click here to book a discovery call at a time that suits you or drop us a line via our enquiry form.

Start reaching more parents today