Multi academy trusts reveal the secrets of successful growth despite Covid-19 challenges in new white paper

29th January 2020 – Multi academy trust (MAT) leaders need to keep the business side of running a school away from head teachers so they can focus on children’s learning, according to a white paper launched today by Juniper Education entitled, Leading Lights: How multi-academy trusts can grow to lead their schools through the toughest of years.

The report gathers the views of MAT chief executives and education thought leaders, including Sir David Carter, the former national schools commissioner and author of ‘Leading Academy Trusts – why some fail but most don’t’, and covers the strategies necessary for developing a successful MAT.

There is a need to give school staff more child time and according to contributors to the white paper, developing strong central capabilities in HR, finance, compliance and risk, management information and pupil tracking is one way to do this.

David Dickinson OBE, CEO of Waterton Academy Trust who is featured in the report says, “The old way of working, where headteachers were constantly distracted by the business function is gone. Our schools are now free to concentrate on children and delivering quality teaching and learning.”

The report also addresses how having robust internal structures gives MATs the flexibility to act fast, redeploy resources and proritise support for schools that need it most.

Graham Cooper, former school leader and Juniper Education’s chief marketing officer, says: “The Covid-19 crisis has shown how the most organised MATs stepped up to help their schools keep children safe, engaged and learning against the odds – with many even providing support for schools beyond their own trust. There is much that growing MATs can take from the experiences of their larger counterparts, so their schools can focus on helping children catch up and overcome the lost learning resulting from the pandemic.”

The contributors to the white paper include:

To read the full interviews and discover how MATs can grow not just bigger, but stronger, fitter and better placed to lead their schools, visit

For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

Louise Everett, The Influence Crowd (on behalf of Juniper Education). [email protected] Tel: 07855 257927.


Juniper Education

Juniper Education’s aim is to increase the effectiveness of schools, improve outcomes for learners and give teachers back more child-time. The organisation provides primary and secondary schools with software to bring pupil assessment, attendance, behaviour data and more together into one system.  Juniper Education also offers services to support schools with their financial management, teacher training, HR, governance, compliance, and school visits planning.  The company is backed by Horizon Capital, a leading investor in high-growth technology and business service companies.