Multi-academy trusts (MATs) will soon be subject to a new inspection regime, as announced by Ofsted in its 2018 Annual Report.

Currently, Ofsted carries out focused inspections of groups of schools over a single week to assess how well their sponsors are doing, with feedback a week later before the reports are completed. However, from December 2018, there will be new “MAT summary evaluations” during which groups of schools in the same Trust will be inspected across one or two terms, followed by feedback sessions with the school leaders once the reports are published to give “more time to draw out common themes and gives MAT leaders opportunity for reflection”.

The new MAT summary evaluations will look at both high-performing MATs and those that give cause for concern.

This change, which follows some piloting and inspector training, is a compromise “within the limitations of our existing powers” to allow Ofsted to better assess the quality across a MAT. In the meantime, Ofsted is continuing its longstanding call for powers that will allow it to directly inspect academy trust headquarters and back office functions.

Last reviewed 19 December 2018