The undeniable importance of HR in expanding Multi-Academy Trusts

Trust growth HR supporting trust growth

The role of HR in the expansion of MATs is multifaceted and central to long-term success. As MATs look to expand, strategic and operational HR practices can help or hinder both the attraction of schools to the trust, and the ease with which they convert and are assimilated into trust practices.

What is strategic HR and why should expanding MATs care?

Strategic HR is about aligning your workforce with the broader goals of your MAT, particularly in its growth stage. As you look to expand by adding more schools, strategic HR becomes the guide that helps you integrate new staff, harmonise cultures, and achieve operational efficiencies.

So how can strategic HR help with trust growth?

Talent acquisition and employee retention for sustainable growth

The right people in a central team can significantly ease the integration of new schools into your MAT. Skilful hiring is not just about filling existing gaps; it's also about anticipating the needs that come with your growth objectives and planning accordingly.

And once you have the right people in your team, retaining them is equally as important. Satisfied, engaged employees in your schools and central team can be ambassadors for your MAT, attracting other schools that are considering joining a larger trust.

Creating a culture of excellence to attract more schools

A strong, positive organisational culture can be a selling point for other schools considering joining your MAT. By emphasizing a culture of excellence and collaboration, you send a compelling message to prospective schools: This is a MAT where quality education is delivered, and people like to work.

The culture in a MAT is a long-term strategic project underpinned by processes and procedures such as a comprehensive and fair remuneration and benefits package, a robust training and mentoring programme and a consistent performance review process.

Compliance and risk management

Adding new schools to a MAT brings its own set of legal complexities. From the completion of the TUPE process to the transfer of any existing grievances, failing to navigate these can impede growth and potentially result in legal complications that could have been easily avoided with proper HR oversight.

HR systems

HR technology and systems can not only streamline processes within your existing schools, it can also help manage the complexity that comes with adding more schools to your MAT. From handling multiple payrolls to centralising employee records, the right HR tech can be a powerful tool for scalability.

In conclusion, HR is not just an administrative function but a strategic partner in the growth of your MAT.

The effectiveness of your expansion strategy is closely tied to how well your HR practices can adapt to a larger, more diverse environment. In essence, a strong HR department can significantly ease the complexities that come with adding more schools to your trust.

Keystone's team of experienced school HR professionals provide multi academy trusts with practical advice, supporting strategic trust growth and day to day operational matters. Find out more about our HR support and our background working in schools and trusts.

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