The Role of Asset Management in Multi Academy Trusts
In November 2016 there were 21,525 state-funded schools in England, of which 1,618 were stand-alone academies and 4,140 schools were in MATs (Multi Academy Trusts). A handful of MATs are very large, with 40 or more schools but most MATs are much smaller than this, having between 1 and 10 schools. In 2016 the Conservative government unveiled plans to legislate for mandatory academy status, When the plan was met with criticism it was abandoned in favour of pro-actively encouraging and supporting voluntary conversions.
One of the widely cited pros of joining a MAT are the benefits of greater purchasing power in negotiating bulk purchases and the ability to then share joint resources and assets across the MAT, leaving more available budget for front-line education. It's important to acknowledge these advantages can only be leveraged if you have the structure in place to assemble a central and local view of resource allocation across the trust schools. This is where a flexible asset management system can be a real game changer in pooling and distributing shared resources to maximum effect. Additionally, when a MAT puts in place group service and maintenance contracts, a versatile asset management system can manage key contact dates and milestones so you have all the information on hand to proactively negotiate the best deals for your school.