Multi Academy Trusts & Free Schools

Few organisations have the expertise around multi-academy trust (MAT) and free school development that Navigate can provide.

Our team has first-hand experience in a range of senior MAT roles including Chair of the Trust Board, CEO, Development Director, Director of School Improvement and Finance Director.

Navigate helps an increasing number of clients with stages of MAT development:

  • Visioning – supporting prospective and serving Trustees in the articulation of their vision and how this translates into an operating model;
  • Business modelling – assisting with business planning and financial modelling to ensure the long-term viability of the Trust;
  • Academy improvement framework – developing the Trust’s school improvement model and providing flexible resource and capacity, as required;
  • Support services – developing the back office model for the Trust and providing short to medium-term flexible capacity at all levels;
  • MAT applications – drafting MAT applications on behalf of Trustees and engaging with RSC offices to secure Headteacher Board approval;
  • Grant applications – drafting Sponsor Capacity Grant applications to secure pump prime funding for MATs;
  • Project management – leading on academy conversions and the implementation of Free Schools, including procuring the services of legal providers to incorporate the Trust and establish the Articles of Association.

Navigate continues to add value once a MAT is up and running; our range of services ensure that Trustees can be assured of compliance in key areas whilst supporting the ongoing improvement of all academies and free schools within their network. We work with clients on:

  • Trustee recruitment and development;
  • Due diligence and project management of new academies seeking to join the Trust;
  • Brokerage of academy projects through liaison with RSC offices and local authorities;
  • Free School and UTC applications and pre-opening support;
  • Development of finance and HR systems and processes, including ongoing strategic support and commissioning of operational support;
  • Short and medium-term school improvement capacity.

When clients first think about establishing a MAT they often find it useful to share their early plans with colleagues who have been through, and learned from, the experience. Navigate are uniquely placed to assist in this way.


Please phone us on 0113 287 8445 or 0203 637 5007, or email to discuss your current and future requirements.

For more information, please download our MAT & Free School Development Flyer.

Who to contact