Multi Academy Trust Status (confirmed in March 2015)

Hackney New School is an academy, supported by the Hackney New School Academy Trust. HNS is a Multi Academy Trust (MAT), meaning that it can support more than one academy school, e.g. a new primary school.

A MAT is a group of academies that are governed by a single academy trust. MATs can create and delegate decision making powers to local governing bodies, to run individual academies, but the members of a local governing body are not automatically classed as company directors or trustees (DfE guidance (June 2013)).

The essential principles of the model are that no schools are left behind, it involves no external business sponsorship and there will be no change to the distinctive nature of any of the schools in the Trust.

HNS became a MAT following consultation with staff, students, parents and the community in December 2014.

What are the benefits of being a MAT?

The list below highlights just some areas where shared governance and collaborative working could secure an improved educational experience for all local children:

  • We can open a new primary school which will be a feeder school for HNS, and allow children to be educated with us from age 4 to 19
  • We will have economies of scale when it comes to purchasing goods and services
  • Collaboration for better learning – pedagogy, curriculum design, assessment
  • Staff development
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Legal Services
  • Governance arrangements

Are there any disadvantages to becoming a MAT?

As a MAT, the central board of directors will be accountable for any other academies that join the MAT, not just Hackney New School. This means increased responsibility. However, as part of the conversion process, the Governing Body will ensure that careful decisions are taken to ensure that the right governance structure and systems are in place to successfully operate more than one academy.

There is more information about MAT academies on the DfE website:

If you can’t find the answer to your question here, or on the DfE website, please email who will try to assist.