With the growing numbers of Multi-Academy Trusts being created across the UK which is set to increase following the recent Government paper specifying a 2030 deadline to join a MAT, coupled with the increasing amount of statutory information that must be published, we are constantly asked if a MAT needs a separate website.

In short, the answer is a resounding YES. With the increasing required statutory information that must be published, it makes sense to create a MAT website that holds this information. In addition, your MAT website should also be the marketing tool for your Trust, reinforcing the successes, vision and values.

To provide you with some guidance on what must be published, we have produced a list below of statutory required information. This has been taken from the Academies Financial Handbook.

Publishing information about Governance structures.

The trust must provide details of its governance arrangements in the governance statement published with its annual accounts, including what the board has delegated to committees and, in trusts with multiple academies, to local governing bodies. The trust must also publish on its website up-to-date details of its governance arrangements in a readily accessible format, including:

Governance Requirements
the structure and remit of the members, board of trustees, its committees and local governing bodies (the trust’s scheme of delegation for governance functions), and the full names of the chair of each (where applicable)
for each member who has served at any point over the past 12 months, their full names, date of appointment, date they stepped down (where applicable), and relevant business and pecuniary interests including governance roles in other educational institutions
for each trustee and local governor who has served at any point over the past 12 months, their full names, date of appointment, term of office, date they stepped down (where applicable), who appointed them (in accordance with the trust’s articles) and relevant business and pecuniary interests including governance roles in other educational institutions. If the trust’s accounting officer is not a trustee their relevant business and pecuniary interests must still be published.
for each trustee their attendance records at board and committee meetings over the last academic year
for each local governor their attendance records at local governing body meetings over the last academic year

Legal Information

In addition to governance information, the following legal information must also be published.

Legal Information
In line with the legal requirements for a company limited by guarantee, the MAT must publish the company name, company address and company number
they may also wish to publish the name of the CEO
Privacy Policy 
Data Protection Policy
Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association
Requirements under the Equality Act 2010 for organisations with 250 or more employees to publish information on their website and on the government’s reporting website about the gender pay gap in their organisation.
The trustees must agree the whistleblowing procedure and publish it on the trust’s website.
Funding Agreement

Financial information

Accounting information
Trusts must publish the annual accounts on their website no later than the end of January the following financial year to which the accounts relate.
ESFA intervention
Where ESFA has concerns about financial management and/or governance in an academy trust it may issue, and publish, a Notice to Improve (NtI). The trust must comply with the NtI. Failure to comply will be deemed a funding agreement breach. The funding agreement may be terminated due to non-compliance with a NtI.
ESFA will notify the trust of the date of which ESFA has published the NtI. The trust must then publish the NtI on its own website within 14 days, and retain it on the website until the NtI is lifted by ESFA.
The Trust must publish on its website in a readily accessible form the number of employees whose benefits exceeded £100k, in £10k banding, for the previous year.

Admissions information

Stated within the School Admissions Code says that admission authorities must publish a copy of their admission arrangements on their website for the duration of the offer year. As a MAT is the admission authority for its academies, it must therefore publish the following information.

Admissions information
a copy of its full proposed admission arrangement including the proposed published admission number (PAN)
details of the person within the admission authority to whom comments may be sent
the areas on which comments are not sought

For further information, please visit the Government website using this link. School Admissions Code

Recommended information

Alongside the above statutory information it is also recommended that a Multi Academy Trust website should have some additional information that would be helpful to the user but also to add value to their website. 

Recommended information
Statement of the Aims and ethos of the MAT
Mission Statements
Links to other schools within the MAT
Curriculum content 
Contact information
Information for schools who want to join their Trust
Links to social media/blogs/news

What other elements would make a good MAT website?

As with all school websites, the website must showcase the key ethos and values of the school through the design. The branding of the MAT must also be reflected throughout the site and the messages about the MAT must be consistent.

Navigation must be simple and all content must be easy to find for all key stakeholders.

For further information on Multi-Academy websites design and the solution that iTCHYROBOT Schools can provide please visit www.itchyrobot.co.uk

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