Multi-Academy Trusts are in a curious position. They (or at least most of them) want to allow their schools the autonomy to pursue their own ICT strategies – buy their own choice of devices, get support locally from someone they trust, and train staff in the use of the systems and software the school has bought in to. This seems perfectly reasonable of course, and many will continue to develop along this path. Most Trusts don’t want to be seen to dictate to those schools joining them, or to be setting restrictive conditions on entry.
MAT’s however, operate in an environment where they will flourish or wither based on their projected values, vision and ethos, and schools, parents and pupils need something singular to buy in to – or why bother?
So how does a MAT centralise and standardise ICT across disparate sites and harness the combined abilities of their best leaders to improve teaching and learning outcomes, and present a unified front to staff, parents and pupils?
Option 1: Find out which model works best for you and make everyone conform – painful, expensive and draconian, if effective.
Option 2: Install systems at the centre and get everyone on-board – painful, very expensive, technically challenging and prone to numerous issues.
Option 3: Use a platform you already pay for, applications you use every day, all of the existing equipment across each of your schools and train your staff up to use it all effectively – cost effective, stable, scalable, secure and relatively pain-free.
Centralisation doesn’t have to mean massive capital expenditure on high-end tech.
Standardisation doesn’t have to mean laying down the law to schools and carrying out costly bulk procurement exercises.
If you’re already using Office365 for emails and calendar (or even just email), you’re already on the right path.
Did you know…?
Using the Office365 platform you can manage centrally, create a singular Trust identity, offer single sign-on to all applications, collaborate in real-time on documents, create groups and teams across an unlimited number of schools, instant message and video-conference, book resources, set and mark homework, improve access (and engagement) for parents, assign pupils and teachers to class groups using MIS data and create a cloud-based lesson-planning and resource bank that will be a fantastic promotional tool to help your Trust grow. All of that across any device, anywhere with an internet connection.
You don’t need to standardise and centralise if the platform everything sits on is consistent and accessible. We can help with low-cost implementation, support and CPD. If you want to know more, please get in touch…