MATs and groups are increasingly moving towards a centralised model, maintaining infrastructure, strategy, and processes at the group level to encourage high standards across the organisation and to effect change more easily through centralised reporting and delivery.
Finance usually takes the lead towards greater centralisation and it has been reported that larger and more centralised MATs operate more efficiently utilising economies of scale. Many MATs are now looking beyond Finance and are considering how centralising other systems and processes can bring about additional efficiencies, ensuring resources are targeted to the areas most in need, and consolidating their culture and values across the whole group.
“We were so pleased that Applicaa had developed the MAT Dashboard as this has really helped us to see a top level overview of the admissions numbers in each of our schools. We can see what schools we need to focus on and put further resources into supporting that school” Sarah Dawson, Executive PA to Joanne Harper – Chief Executive Officer ALET
Heads want to focus on educational delivery and improve longer-term outcomes for children.
Core business services support this central role. Procurement, Admin & Marketing, IT & Data are all potential areas for centralisation, along with Finance.
Applicaa supplies over 350 schools, many of which are in MATs, with Admissions+. The Applicaa mission is to help young people to get the best possible start at every stage of their school journey by making admissions personal and efficient for both schools and families. Applicaa receives very good feedback from schools regarding efficiency, time-saving, enhanced communication to parents, and from parents’ engagement with the school, even prior to their child starting.
Bulk purchasing IT systems is one area where savings can be made and subscribing to Admissions+ can be at a significantly reduced cost per school for groups.
“The MAT dashboard has saved so much time as I can instantly see applications in all Sixth Forms. This has helped us be more strategic in our marketing. As we move forward it will also help us to have a more consistent approach across the Trust especially when sharing key messages. It is also proving to be invaluable for staffing and curriculum planning as I can see the numbers for each subject across all academies”. Susan Sharp, Trust Director for Post 16
Admissions+ is fully customisable and MATs can centrally design key communication emails and data collection forms sharing them with individual schools that can then brand and tailor them to their school setting quickly and easily losing none of the personalisation required.
This ensures brand and messaging are consistent and reflect the ethos of the MAT. Schools can build on their reputation with solid and consistent communication at their core. Having a system like Admissions+ throughout a MAT means prospective parents can be sent school newsletters, exam results, and other announcements before their child has even joined the school making them feel part of the school community right at the start of their school journey.
Many communications can be scheduled and/or triggered at the head office if required.
Open evenings and parent/teacher meetings can also be scheduled from within Admissions+ and in current circumstances, these are increasingly being organised as online events for parents to sign up to at their convenience.
We have seen an increase in Parents Evening bookings from 60% to 76% using Admissions+ online bookings. Caterham HIgh School
For MATs using Admissions+, there is a free MAT dashboard that displays key admissions metrics from all the schools in the MAT.
The metrics can include data relating to, Enquiries, Visits, Interviews, Registrations, Enrolments etc. Email open rates can be checked and responses generated automatically. Having a central view of admissions KPIs means help can be diverted to where it is needed most urgently.
Admissions are inextricably linked to budgets and any early signs that admission numbers are lower than anticipated needs to acted upon quickly. This helps with strategic marketing as resources can be directed towards those schools requiring additional support.
Joe Nicel, Marketing Manager of Kingsley Academy (Academies Enterprise Trust) summarises the benefits:
“The MAT dashboard easily enables us to see the progress all our schools are making, meaning we can make quick interventions. Being able to create and share content and push out to all our schools, saves time, and ensures consistency across the Trust.”
Please watch our MAT dashboard video for more information: