The 2017 event has taken place!
Look out for details for 2018

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09:00 – 09:40

Registration, Check-in, Refreshments & Networking

09:40 – 09:50

Chair’s introduction and welcome

Laura McInerney, Editor, Schools Week

09:50 – 10:10
MAT data

How an effective MAT data strategy can help drive school improvement
Understand how MATs are addressing the challenge of a deluge of finance, HR and educational performance data and how it can be harnessed to drive student outcomes

Matt Woodruff, Chief Data Scientist, in partnership with Groupcall

10:10 – 10:50
School improvement 

School improvement debate: The role of MATs in a self-improving education system

  • What are the key steps to transforming a struggling school and how long should it take?
  • How does the DfE’s four-stage improvement model work in practice?
  • What are the positives and pitfalls of taking on multiple struggling schools
Stephen Tierney, CEO, Blessed Edward Bamber Catholic Multi Academy Trust
Andrew Thraves, Director of Education, Prospects Services
Chris Tweedale, Chief Executive, Aldridge Education

10:50 – 11:00


11:00 – 11:30

Morning refreshments

11:30 – 12:15

Workshops 1: School Improvement

MAT size: 2 – 5 schoolsMAT size: 5 – 15 schoolsMAT size: 15+ schools

Strategies to develop sufficient capacity, implement sustainable mechanisms for school support and generate a culture of continuous improvement across your MAT

Stephen Tierney, CEO, Blessed Edward Bamber Catholic Multi Academy Trust

Ensure your school improvement offering is adaptable as requirements increase and know how to measure and evaluate your impact on the schools your work with 

Dr John Wm Stephens CBE, Chief Executive Officer, Bright Futures Educational Trust

Develop and embed a consistent rate of improvement, ensure an ongoing, positive reputation for your MAT and manage the risk of taking on struggling schools

Chris Tweedale, Chief Executive & Andrew Weymouth, Education Director, Aldridge Education

12:15 – 13:10

Lunch, Exhibition & Networking

13:10 – 13:50

Discussion workshops facilitated by experts - please see seperate programme below for a full list of discussion topics

13:50 – 14:15
MAT growth

Main priorities for school improvement

Sir David Carter, National Schools Commissioner & Nicole McCartney, Managing Director, Ormiston Academies Trust

14:15 – 14:35
Technology, leadership
and culture

Collaboration, efficacy and collective impact
Explore the relationship between technology, leadership and culture required to lead to sustainable change and collective impact within and between schools

Andy Newell, Director, IRIS Connect and Dawn Haywood, Education Director, Windsor Academy Trust 

14:35 – 15:00
MAT Funding

The future of Multi-Academy Trust finances

With stage two of the national funding formula consultation open, gain an essential update on the latest government plans and strategies to develop a robust financial strategy in a turbulent landscape

Stephen Morales, Chief Executive, NASBM
Tom Clark CBE FRSA, Chair of the Board, FASNA

15:00 – 15:10


15:10 – 15:50

Workshops 2: 

Financial managementLeadership structuresA board for the betterCommunication and collaboration

Is doing more with less possible?

Secure available funding, develop alternative income streams and ensure educational standards are maintained amid the funding crisis

Andy Collings, Consultant CFO and COO, Challenger Multi-Academy Trust

Develop clear lines of accountability as your MAT grows and explore alternative SLT structures to ensure your MAT is streamlined, efficient and strategically lead



Is your board helping the trust to be the best it can be? Understand the ingredients for success following the DfE’s Governance Competency Framework, and debate what drives board and trust performance

Chloe Brunton, Partner, Veale Wasbrough Vizards & Kirsty Watt, Head of Academy Ambassadors

Uncover innovative technology to revolutionise communication and improve collaboration between schools and all staff in your MAT

Simon O'Keefe, CEO, Stour Academy Trust

15:50 – 16:10

Afternoon Refreshments

16:10 – 16:50

Workshops 3:

Governance 2Retention across your MATVision, ethos and purposeReputation management

Understand the various structures for local governance in MATs and overcome the challenges of recruiting high-quality governors at local level

Raj Unsworth, Chair, PRIDE Multi Academy Trust and Louise Thomson FCIS, Head of Policy (NFP), ICSA

Talent management and succession planning strategies to aid retention and ensure all staff within your MAT are provided with ample opportunities to develop 

Karen Burns, Chief Executive, Carillion Academies Trust

How to ensure you are delivering on your MATs long-term vision and gain strategies to share and embed your ethos and values with new schools

Hugh Greenway, Chief Executive, The Elliot Foundation

Serious incident management and pro-active PR: case studies and best practice advice to identify risks, manage incidents and maintain a positive reputation

Yvonne Spencer, Partner and Nassem Nabi, Partner, law firm Veale Wasbrough Vizards


Day 1 Conference Close

16:50 – 19:00

Leisure Time – With over 100 lakes at the Water Park, you can enjoy everything from kayaking to wakeboarding. Or if you prefer to keep your feet on dry land, take a leisurely walk or make use of the on-site health and fitness club

19:00 –19:45

Drinks reception

19:45 – 22:00

Evening Gala Dinner

Including after dinner comedy set from Jo Caulfield

07:00 – 09:15 


8:45 to 9:15 – breakfast briefing

The Apprenticeship Quiz: Apprenticeships simplified, how to maximise your levy
Amy Lalla, Director, Let Me Play Ltd.
Take away a FREE guide on apprenticeship strategy by attending

09:15 – 09:30

Coffee, Exhibition & Networking

09:30 – 09:40

Chair’s opening remarks: Learnings from yesterday and setting objectives for today
Laura McInerney, Editor, Schools Week

09:40 – 10:00
Education Committee

Performance, accountability and expansion: Vital insights into the House of Commons Education Committee’s Multi-Academy Trust inquiry
Neil Carmichael, Senior Adviser at PLMR and former Chair of the Education Select Committee

10:00 - 10:20
MAT facilities

Negotiating the complex world of strategic asset management and statutory compliance: How to utilise technology and efficient service delivery to unlock value across your estates, releasing funding for educational improvement
David Smith, CEO, Bellrock

10:20 – 10:50
MAT accountability debate

MAT accountability debate: How are we defining ‘success’ and how should this be measured?

  • Are the accountability measures for MATs clear and by what metrics should they be judged?
  • What strategies can MATs adopt to tangibly measure and evaluate impact?
  • What is Ofsted’s role in ensuring the effectiveness of MATs?
  • Is there scope for a failing MAT to recover or should success be expected from the start?

Raj Unsworth, Chair, PRIDE Multi Academy Trust
Hugh Greenway, Chief Executive, The Elliot Foundation
Judith Hicks, Head of Inspiring Governance, NGA

10:50 – 11:00


11:00 – 11:30

Morning Refreshments

 11:30 – 12:00

Discussion workshops facilitated by experts - please see seperate programme below for a full list of discussion topics

12:00 – 12:45

Workshops 4: Successful growth as a MAT

MAT size 2-5 schoolsMAT size 5-15 schoolsMAT size 15+ schools

Is growth the right path for you?
Key steps to develop a long-term growth strategy, ensure sufficient capacity and understand when to consolidate resources

Steve Taylor, Executive Headteacher & John McDermott, Finance Director, Robin Hood Multi-Academy Trust

Reflections of lessons learnt and suggested best practice on governance and leadership structures for trusts embarking on growth from small to large MATs

Nick Mackenzie, Partner, Browne Jacobson LLP & Mark Blois, Chair of L.E.A.D Multi-Academy Trust and Head of Education, Browne Jacobson LLP

Optimal leadership models to suit a large MAT and gain best practice to develop and structure regional hubs as the geographical spread of your MAT expands 

12:45 – 13:30

Lunch, Exhibition & Networking

13:30 – 14:00
Teacher development journeys

From Finland to Singapore: Teacher development journeys from graduate to leader, in top-performing systems

Lucy Crehan, Author and Education Consultant, Education Development Trust

14:00 – 14:50

Workshop 5: Take part in role-specific, intensive masterclasses, develop your skills and build up a network of support. Plus, leave with additional resources including the MAT CEO skills audit, SBM webinar series and best practice financial case studies to continue your development

CEO/Exec Head
(Recommended for those in post <2 years)
CFO and FD trainingCEO/Exec Head (Recommended for those in post >2 years)The evolving role of the SBM

Making the transition from Headteacher to MAT leader:

  • Clarify the responsibilities of executive leadership
  • Ensure buy-in from staff, parents and the board
  • Understand your financial responsibilities

Karen Burns, Chief Executive, Carillion Academies Trust

The crucial role of strategic financial management in a MAT:

  • Clarify your financial obligations with the EFA
  • Strike a balance between budget management and maintaining standards
  • Financial management in the midst of a funding crisis

Sam Talbot & Ben March, STEP Academy Trust

Taking strategic MAT leadership to the next step:

  • Developing a strategy for growth
  • The leadership challenges of growth
  • Managing today and managing for tomorrow

 Professor Malcolm Morley OBE

Moving from an operational to strategic role:

  • Clarify and embrace new responsibilities
  • Strategies to successfully manage increased workload and accountability
  • The journey of the SBM in today's education landscape

Stephen Morales, Chief Executive, NASBM

14:50 - 15:00

Closing remarks

Schoolcomms lead sponsorHosted by NASBM and Optimus Education

11th October 2017


14:00 – 15:30

Registration, welcome and buffet lunch

15:30 – 16:15
Session 1

Models and structures: Explore the pros and cons of existing MAT structures and gain strategies to maximise efficiencies and offer value for money for schools across your MAT

Matthew Clements-Wheeler, Business Manager and Deputy Head, Bordesley Green Girls' School

16:15 – 17:00
Session 2

Profit generation: In a difficult financial landscape, what options are available to generate additional streams of revenue to support your MAT

Andy Collings, Consultant CFO and COO, Challenger Multi-Academy Trust

 17:00 – 17:20

Afternoon refreshments

17:20 – 18:00
Session 3

Centralisation and procurement strategies to maximise savings: Create a unified organisation, cut costs and provide additional funds for school improvement

Simon Oxenham, Director of Resources, Southend High School for Boys and National Lead on School Finance, NASBM

18:00 – 18:45
Session 4

Clarify the impact of the Public Accounts Committee’s ‘Financial Sustainability of Schools inquiry’ and how school business professionals should be responding

Stephen Morales, Chief Executive, NASBM


Conference close and networking drinks

 19:30 NASBM dinner

Day 1: Roundtable discussions (13:30 – 14:10)

R1: Using technology and the GDPR to drive reform, efficiency and productivity in your MAT 
A practical review of use cases and the legal obligations of the GDPR that can be used to your benefit .
Mark Orchison, Managing Director, 9INE

R2: ICT across your Multi-Academy Trust
ICT is just one component of your MAT strategy but it plays a pivotal role in achieving your vision. Jon French shares challenges, learning points and recommendations from his experiences of developing an ICT strategy across a MAT.
Jon French, Director of Operations, Redhill Academy Trust & Jesse Johnson, Head of MATs, RM Education

R3: New accountability measures
As politicians respond to PISA's innovative 2018 Global Competence Assessment focusing on social and emotional skills and a sense of belonging; new accountability measures are coming. How can you make sure your MAT is ahead of the game? 
Simon Rushton, Director of Innovation, Plymouth School of Creative Arts & Co-founder Centric Learning (UK) Ltd.
Recommended background reading for participants:
R4: Prioritising and responding to challenges in schools
Workload, funding & staff retention: Nationwide examples and case studies demonstrating how schools have successfully coped with these challenges on a budget, and how you can adapt the solutions to suit your MAT.
Richard Boughey, Director, EES for Schools
R5: MAT perceptions: How to ensure your MAT attracts, engages and retains optimum teacher talent 
Understand how perceptions around MATs have developed over the last year, and the impact this could have on your approach to recruitment, retention and staff development. 
Harriet Gill, TES Global 


 Day 2: Roundtable discussions (11:30 – 12:00)


R6: The CEO’s ‘morning from hell!’
A confidential data leak, a social media storm and a threat of discrimination proceedings. The actions you take when a crisis breaks are the most important - this session provides practical tips and legal advice on risk management.
Ben Wood & Helen Cairns, Eversheds Sutherland

R7: The future of edtech in the classroom
How the latest technology and data-driven decision making can help you move away from the conventional classroom, generate meaningful collaboration and better prepare students for life on the outside world.
Toni Barnett, Managing Director, CDEC
R8: Centralisation and automation
3 practical, immediate steps you can take to centralise systems and operations, automate school workflows and save £3k-£30k in costs per school.
James Weatherill, CEO and Co-founder, Arbor Education
R9: Staffing structures and supply cover solutions
Innovative strategies to source local supply cover, manage and distribute your existing pool of resources between multiple sites and create efficiencies across your Multi-Academy Trust.
Vamsi Vadde, Founder, Teacher Booker Ltd
R10: Estates: Driving efficiencies and discharging new liabilities under an academies structure  
Maximise efficiencies in MAT estates management and understanding the increased liabilities around growth to successfully ‘control the journey’.
Terry Stocks, Director - Head of Public Sector and Education, Faithful and Gould

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