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Scaling Finances: 5 Key Considerations for Growing MATs

16th May 2024


Scaling Finances: 5 Key Considerations for Growing MATs

Finance for growing MATs

When a MAT takes on new schools, along comes new financial demands.

Here's how to ensure your finances and financial processes remain robust as your trust grows:

  1. Financial Due Diligence: Before welcoming a new school, conduct thorough due diligence. This involves scrutinising their financial statements, funding agreements, and any potential liabilities. Understanding their financial health will help you plan for integration and identify areas that might require additional support.
  2. Funding Stream Optimisation: Each academy receives its own funding based on student numbers and demographics. Analyse the funding streams of incoming schools and explore potential synergies across the MAT. This could involve sharing resources or negotiating better deals with suppliers due to increased purchasing power.

  3. Centralised Budgeting and Forecasting: Develop a centralised budgeting process that accommodates the specific needs of each academy while aligning with the overall MAT strategy. Implement robust financial forecasting tools to anticipate future needs and potential funding shortfalls. This allows for proactive adjustments and ensures financial stability.

  4. Sharing Best Practices and Expertise: Growing your MAT presents an opportunity to leverage financial expertise across your network. Encourage collaboration between finance teams in established academies and those joining the MAT. Experienced staff can share best practices for budgeting, procurement, and cost control, benefiting all schools.

  5. Invest in Your Central Finance Team: As your MAT scales, consider investing in additional staff or training for your central finance team or engaging an external support team like Strictly Education. They'll be responsible for overseeing a larger budget, managing multiple funding streams, and ensuring compliance with regulations. A well-equipped finance team is essential for navigating growth with confidence.

By taking these steps, you can ensure sound financial management as your MAT expands. Remember, strong financial planning facilitates educational excellence.

Bonus Tip: Explore government funding opportunities such as the Trust Establishment and Growth Fund (TEG) or the Trust Capacity Fund (TCaF), which can provide additional resources for new academies within your academy trust.  Additional capital improvements can be supported by applications to the Condition Improvement Fund or through the use of School Condition Allocation grants if your MAT has over 5 schools and 3,000 pupils or students.

To discuss how Strictly Education’s Academy Finance support services can help your MAT as it grows, telephone  0330 123 2549 or email