Various legal structures exist within which schools can collaborate formally together or work within groups. These include Federations, in the case of maintained schools, and Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) in the case of academies.

A school federation is defined in the Education Act 2002 as two or more maintained schools operating under a single governing body. The School Governance (Federations) (England) Regulations 2012 set out the structure and arrangements for leaving, joining and dissolving a federation.

A multi-academy trust or MAT is a single legal entity with a board of trustees which is accountable for a number of academies in a chain.

This topic covers the main aspects of forming a federation or a MAT and describes how they should be organised, constituted and run. The topic should be read alongside those covering maintained school and academy governance.

Quick Facts

Key points you need to know on this topic.

In-depth

Detailed information on all matters in this topic.