Guidance and resources for academy trusts, including those establishing new trusts and existing trusts planning to grow.


Multi-acadamy trust (MAT): good practice guidance and expectations for growth

Ref: DFE-00334-2016PDF, 781KB, 56 pages

Multi-acadamy trust (MAT): resources


Multi-acadamy trust (MAT): development programme resource

Ref: DFE-00180-2018PDF, 345KB, 17 pages

Multi-acadamy trust (MAT): school improvement capacity framework

MS Word Document, 99.7KB


The good practice guide gives advice on what regional schools commissioners look for when they assess and approve:

  • the establishment of new multi-academy trusts (MATs)
  • plans for growth of existing MATs

See also how to convert to an academy and how to become an academy sponsor.

The MAT resources lists a selection of support and guidance for MATs wishing to establish and develop their trusts.

Both of these items give guidance on developing a successful trust, including advice on:

  • school governance and leadership
  • helping schools improve
  • financial sustainability and risk management

The MAT development programme resource is created for participants on our 2018 programme, but can help all MATs with their development priorities.

The MAT school improvement capacity framework is a diagnostic tool developed in partnership with MAT leaders in the South-West RSC region. It is designed to help MATs identify their most significant areas of strength and challenge. It does not form part of the Department’s accountability framework and is intended for use on a voluntary basis.

The tool is a live document undergoing regular revision with the sector. The department will publish future versions of this tool as they are developed.

Published 9 December 2016
Last updated 14 June 2019 + show all updates


  1. Added 'Multi-acadamy trust (MAT): school improvement capacity framework'.
  2. Added 'MAT development programme: resource'.
  3. Added updated resources for multi-academy trusts.
  4. First published.

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