The Government has stated that all schools in England should be part of a strong multi-academy trust (MAT) or to be planning to join or form one by 2030. If Ofsted gives a school an “inadequate” rating, the law requires it to become an academy.

If the school is already an academy that is rated “inadequate”, a Regional Director can decide to transfer the school to a different multi-academy trust.

An academy sponsor is an organisation or person who has received approval from the Department for Education (DfE) to support an academy or group of academies.

The Regional Directors aim to match sponsors with schools in the sponsor’s local area.

A sponsor works with an academy through an academy trust, which is the charitable company that runs the academy or group of academies. It has the power to appoint the Head and the board of governors. Sponsors are held accountable for raising standards in underperforming schools. This is achieved by providing effective governance, strategic leadership, a clear vision and a combination of support and challenge to ensure the vision is translated into reality. To support the sponsor, the DfE has a number of funds that the sponsor/trust can apply for.

If sponsors don’t comply with their responsibilities, the Secretary of State for Education can remove their status.

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