Education Show 2017: An alternative route to a successful ‘academy marriage’

The Education Show

Free to attend, The Education Show is the UK’s largest showcase of best practice CPD, training and educational resources. Each year, thousands of education professionals gather to test and compare the latest resources, discuss policy and practice and form vital collaborative links with their peers.

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At Bett Academies (16-17 March, NEC, Birmingham), Tom Rees, headteacher and director of Northampton Primary Academy Trust (pictured above, far left), will be sharing his school’s journey to becoming part of Northampton Primary Academy Trust (NPAT). He will also be explaining why, for better and for worse, it’s a marriage worth maintaining. The seminar session at 14:55 on Friday 17th March is free to attend, and is designed to give schools alternative ideas around gaining academy status.

As Rees explains, “Whether we like it or not, it appears that more and more schools will become ‘married’ as part of a Multi Academy Trust in the years ahead; leaving behind their relative independence (and the varying quality of parenting provided by different Local Authorities) in order to enter into an often polygamous lifelong partnership with other schools.”

Rees will be walking delegates through the journey he and the NPAT took from the early days, when he first heard about five schools in Northampton who were working together to form a MAT as equal partners, through to ‘getting serious’, ‘tying the knot’ and how today they keep the magic alive!

Rees says about everyone within the MAT, “These were all great schools, led by the types of go-getter heads that I aspired (and still aspire) to be.

“There are many important questions that must be asked and answered before making that commitment.”

During his presentation he will be talking about the schools’ sense of shared ownership and how today they continue to thrive. He will also be quoting Henry Ford, who once said, “Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success”. Delegates to his presentation will be offered advice on how each school can retain its individuality and unique school ethos, while finding common ground and adopting shared approaches.

Tom Rees’ presentation and other CPD sessions are free of charge. Please visit to reserve your seat. Bett Academies has been developed as a national centre of excellence, providing information, guidance and inspiration for senior leaders in academies, MATs and schools exploring academisation.

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