The Multi Academy Trust website is more often than not borne of a necessity to at least get something ‘out there’ without giving thought as to how your MAT website could actually sell your Trust to potential schools.
Some MAT’s do not even have a website and use the individual academy websites to publish the relevant information. Also it is not a REQUIREMENT to have a website, it is essential if you are looking to grow your MAT.
From undertaking research of A LOT of MAT websites, they have the usual statutory information on there, which I have listed below as a reminder:
- Annual Accounts no later than the end of January following the financial year to which the accounts relate. It is also best practice to retain the previous 2 years accounts on your website
- Memorandum & Articles of Association and Master Funding Agreement
- Governance information
- Structure and remit of members
- Board of trustees
- Committees and local governing bodies
- Full names of the chairs of each
- Scheme of delegation
- For each member, trustee and local governor who has served at any point over the last 12 months
- Full name
- Date of appointment
- Date they stepped down (where applicable)
- Attendance records over the last year
- Relevant business and pecuniary interests
- Copy of the admission arrangements for the current year
- Admissions appeals timetable
- Details of the time taken off by staff who are union officials
- Details of the MAT
- Company Number
- Registered Office
There is also additional information which tends to be relatively standard:
- Details and links to the Academies within the Trust
- Welcome message from the CEO
- Trust Policies
And to be honest, not much else!
How does this hinder the growth of your MAT?
Your Trust website should not ever be viewed with the same objectives as what your school website is. It is not a portal to comply with Ofsted (well at least not yet), it is in essence a website to celebrate your successes and to inspire potential teaching staff to want to join your trust as well as pitching your Trust at the right level to acquire additional schools.
Let’s take the example of any persons buying behaviour (and I appreciate this isn’t a product you are selling), where is the first place you go to either find out more information, or look at reviews as to what other people think of that product/service?
Yes, the website!
Think about the potential schools visiting your site, why would they want to join your trust? Having some statutory information on your site isn’t enough to convince anyone to join you over another trust.
How do you promote how your Trust is different, how do you support your schools, what schools are you looking to join your trust, what successes have you had?
So what could you include on your Trust website?
I would refer you to the questions above. How can you promote how your Trust is different? Could this be translated through case studies of how you have supported other schools? Are you a nurturing Trust who has that ‘hand holding approach to support? What is your Vision – if this is clear then only schools that share your vision will want to be part of it. That’s half of your job done for you. You want schools that share this vision and therefore you will be attracting school that fit with your vision and values.
Obtain some positive testimonials or stories from your schools as to how being part of the Trust has helped them?
Publish how you do help them. What is the process for joining your Trust? How do schools contact you if they are interested in finding out more about your Trust?
How credible are the leaders in your Trust? Do you have profiles of the executive team and what qualifies them to give your potential new schools faith in why your Trust should be the one they join?
Do you have a careers section? How is your Trust supporting the staff?
Show how you are celebrating and sharing the successes of ALL of your schools through a news section and share the great news and stories from the schools within your Trust.
I hope this has given you some food for thought.
If you are looking at developing your Trust website, iTCHYROBOT are one of the most dynamic creators of web based solutions in the UK. To discuss your website today call the team on 01642 688808.
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