Executive Educators: building and leading a sustainable MAT

"My commitment is to support CEOs to strategically lead their MATs better than they thought possible, while helping them raise standards for pupils and become the employer of choice in their community."

Sir David Carter, Programme Lead & Executive Director of System Leadership

Effective MATs are all about great leadership. Great leaders transform the lives of pupils in their trusts. 

With over ten years’ experience in developing leaders we have the know-how to help you build and sustain your academy trust. 

Designed and delivered by Sir David Carter, you will gain direct access to his expertise and beliefs on the evolving skills and behaviours needed by today’s executive leaders of MATs. 

Underpinning this programme is a rigorous research base and learnings from our close relationships with a broad range of MATs and education leaders.

Detail Back to top

Delivered over four terms, our programme combines intensive training with 1:1 executive coaching to help you to develop and implement a model for sustainable organisational improvement which directly addresses your unique context and ambitions. 

As the first programme to market for MAT leaders, our offer has been refined over eleven cohorts and is now being led by industry expert and former National School Commissioner and MAT CEO Sir David Carter, drawing upon his experience of leading the academy sector for the past four years and the knowledge gained from working with MATs across the system. 

We also work with a range of partners to develop a personalised learning pathway to address the highly complex challenges you face as you lead your people and organisations through the changing political landscape.

You will also gain access to a broad range of MATs through study tours, which in 2017/2018 included these trusts:

  • Outwood Grange Academy Trust
  • Oasis Community Learning
  • Cabot Learning Federation
  • Ark Schools
  • Brooke Weston Trust
  • United Learning
  • STEP Academy Trust
  • Dixons Academy Trust

You will graduate from the programme with

  • A comprehensive MAT audit resulting in a sustainable improvement plan for your organisation 
  • An understanding of how to develop the key drivers of sustainability that maximise your organisation’s workforce, financial resources and capacity to improve schools 
  • A developed Personal Development Plan supported through 360 reviews at the beginning and end of the programme
  • A clear, meaningful mission statement which can be used to drive strategy and growth
  • Options for school improvement models to ensure your MAT delivers greater value than individual schools alone
  • A strategic plan to lead and deliver change with clear next steps 
  • A stronger sense of your own leadership capability and capacity
  • A network of like-minded executive educators lasting far beyond the programme

Find out more about this programme

We're currently welcoming interest in this programme. Please register your interest via the 'Enquire Now' link and a member of our School Partnerships team will be in touch to discuss your next steps.

Enquire Now

Content Back to top

Our curriculum focuses not just on technical skills and knowledge, but on behaviours and mindsets in the belief that only by developing both can you be the best possible leader.

Delivered through core and optional content, you can tailor your learning to your specific needs, from marketing and brand development to effective succession planning.

Our programme includes:

  • 3 expert-led intensive residential events, all led by programme lead Sir David Carter
  • 4 study tours at high-performing academy trusts
  • 6 hours of executive coaching
  • A half day MAT review workshop 
  • Peer learning opportunities 
  • Access to leading speakers from the education, public and business sectors 
  • 360 feedback tools 

Residential events

Over three residential events, course participants come together for eight days of intensive training.

This period will also allow you to build an invaluable network with peers in similar roles and facing similar challenges.

Over the course of the programme you will explore your mission and ambitions as a MAT and refine the unique model of support and improvement your trust offers. You will develop your understanding of the capabilities and capacity needed to deliver this model both now and as you grow, and both as an organisation and for you as an individual. 

Residential Training 1

The first residential will focus on what makes a great MAT CEO and the key features of a high performing MAT.

You will explore your own development needs alongside completing an audit of your MAT to gain an understanding of your organisation’s improvement requirements. 

Residential Training 2

At your second residential you will explore MAT governance and finance along with a range of operating models, to identify which ones work best for you and your organisation in line with your mission and ambitions.

You will also consider how to ensure your organisation has both the capacity and capability to deliver your model of improvement. 

Residential Training 3

With greater clarity on your MAT’s mission and model, the final residential will focus on how you work with others both internally and externally to deliver on this. 


Benefits Back to top

  • Insights and experiences from Sir David Carter in both his role as an executive leader and more recently as National School Commissioner
  • 1:1 executive coaching which facilitates self-directed learning, personal growth and improved performance
  • An analysis of your own leadership challenges in the role with a focus on how to navigate and manage increasing complexity, uncertainty and change as you look to build your MAT
  • A strategic vision for your MAT, underpinned by culture, a school improvement approach, and a sustainable operating model 
  • A change plan to build the capacity and capabilities required to achieve your strategic vision 
  • New skills and knowledge in key technical aspects of the role including finance, governance, risk and compliance, marketing and people
  • Access to a network of 270 like-minded peers and over 10,000 leaders at all levels in UK schools 

Next steps Back to top

We're currently welcoming interest in this programme.

Please register your interest in the programme, and a member of our School Partnerships team will be in touch to discuss your next steps.

Enquire Now


For executive leaders or other strategic roles involved in leading the organisation