Challenges of a growing MAT

21st November 2023

As a MAT grows, it is common for the Leadership team to face challenges along the way. These challenges differ, depending on the stage of the growth journey, but are typically associated with identity, direction, coordination and collaboration.

Having clear and defined visions and goals is of vital importance throughout each phase of growth – often this is the easy bit. The challenges arise when you attempt to decode how you are going to get there. Implementing strategies to minimise the pressure points along the way will be a notable factor in the success of growing your MAT, whilst simultaneously achieving high standards of progress and performance.


Making data meaningful

One area for growing MATs to consider, when looking to alleviate pressure, is how accessible and meaningful their data capture and analysis is. Importantly – is the data meaningful?

For growing MATs, navigating assessment data across your schools is essential but it can be complicated and time-consuming without the right systems in place. If measures of progress differ from one school to the next, this can create uncertainty and a lack of clarity on where key strengths and weaknesses lie.

A centralised system can contribute to the establishment of a culture of school-to-school support. With the sharing of data comes the sharing of best practice. MAT leaders tell us that they want a system to enable them to understand how to drive improvement across all schools in the Trust. In essence they want to be able to:

  1. Identify schools and subject areas where practice is strong
  2. Identify schools and subject areas where practice is having less impact on progress
  3. Facilitate the communication of good practice led by those stronger schools and subject areas
  4. Ensure that there are clear intervention priorities and development plans generated from these sessions, which are centred around improving progress outcomes for students
  5. Quality assure the impact of agreed intervention through the rigorous analysis of subsequent data sets

Relieving the pressure

We have analysed some of the key pressure points MAT’s are facing and how, at Alps, we’ve supported them through the challenges and growing pains, as they expand. With tools which enable MAT leaders to uncover where they are now, where they want to be and how they’ll get there, our group based platform ‘Alps Summit’ does the heavy-lifting in a number of areas:

Standardisation – Centralisation of systems and data to standardise the language and processes used to measure curriculum and student progress.

Collaboration – A system which quickly identifies where strengths, weaknesses and best practices lie and encourages collaboration among schools and subjects, to work together, towards improving outcomes across the MAT.

Increased insights – Data that provides high visibility of where you are AND how to get to where you want to be – accessible by staff at all levels, throughout the MAT and individual schools.

Curriculum development – How your teachers, subjects, and students are performing compared against national data and how that information can inform your provision as you move forward.

Value added – not just for your students but for your staff too, with training provided by former top-performing school leaders.

Savings – budgets are always going to be a key factor in implementing new solutions. We offer high-value solutions at discounted rates for groups.

Don’t just take our word for it

The use of Alps at Anthem Trust at both Key Stage 4 and 5 has been a vital tool in promoting consistency and accuracy of data across the Trust, allowing senior leaders to spot trends and easily identify areas of the data to challenge, validate and celebrate.

Take a look at our latest case study written by the brilliant Melanie Calder. Read the case study here. 

We also sat down with Jane Coley when she was Director of Education at Anthem Trustto discuss how Alps Summit has helped them on their growth journey, here’s what she had to say:

Interested in how we can help you?

To find out more about Alps Summit and how it can help your Trust to navigate assessment data across your schools for swift, actionable insight and relieve some of the pressures of your growth journey, click here to book a demo with the team today and join the growing number of MATs and Groups using Alps Summit.



“Alps has been an invaluable to me as a school and MAT leader over the years. It has enabled me to review departmental, school and MAT performance, as well as drilling down to student group level to ensure we review our teaching methodology to get the best out of individuals.”

– Louise Lee, CEO, Synergy Multi-Academy Trust 

“Alps has such gravitas and authority. Why wouldn’t you want to have an understanding of it? You would be failing your students without it.”

– Una Sookun, Associate Principal, Ark Globe Academy

Need more information?

If you would like any further information, please contact one of our expert advisers.

Get in touch