First wave schools ready to join the HfL MAT

    Published: 08 February 2017

    Herts for Learning Ltd is very pleased with the progress on the Herts for Learning Multi Academy Trust (HfL MAT) which was founded by the company in 2016.

    The HfL MAT is the first of its kind and is being described by the Department for Education as a SIP MAT – a school improvement partner MAT.

    This is due to the association with the successful founding organisation Herts for Learning Ltd, with its experience of delivering a well-developed range of innovative and high-quality school improvement and education business services and track record of working with schools of all types and phases to bring about rapid improvements.

    Schools and academies in Hertfordshire have a strong history of working together and shaping the landscape to create an environment in which schools support each other and children thrive,” explained Jan Paine, Managing Director at Herts for Learning.

    HfL Ltd was co-produced with schools to develop into a company that serves their needs, and the HfL MAT has also been designed with many of the schools interested in joining having an input into its development. For those schools, there will be a strong sense of ownership and belonging to the HfL MAT which we believe will provide a good foundation for its success.”

    The decision to set up the Herts for Learning Multi Academy Trust (HfL MAT) arose at the request of a significant number of schools. Following numerous consultation events with headteachers and chairs of governing bodies, the HfL Ltd Board agreed that there was sufficient interest to proceed in June 2016. The MAT was incorporated at Companies House in July 2016. Since then work has been ongoing with schools to shape the model and to develop the values and vision and scheme of delegation. During this time there, have been discussions with the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) and the DfE to ensure the HfL MAT would be compliant with requirements for approval to become a sponsor and for schools to apply to convert into the HfL MAT.

    Approval and wave 1 schools

    The MAT received approval to be a sponsor on 21st December 2016 and the Trust Board is hopeful that the first wave of schools will be approved and converted ready for September 2017, with further schools joining in the next two academic years. Currently, over 30 schools have expressed an interest in being included in Wave 1. The model has been designed to be able to expand using a geographical cluster approach and the scheme of delegation created has taken this into account.


    The HfL MAT will be inclusive; it is intended to be made up of a healthy mix of primary, secondary and special schools, which will mainly be converter academies, plus a smaller number of sponsored academies within a one hour driving radius of Stevenage. It does not intend to turn schools away that are not yet good or have financial pressures. In order to manage growth in a sustainable way, its growth strategy intends that at least 80% of the academies are good or better and financially secure before adding more.


    The Herts for Learning Multi Academy Trust works alongside other LA maintained schools, academies and multi-academy trusts in Hertfordshire and on our borders. The Trust welcomes opportunities to share good practice and learn from each other, building on the relationships built by Herts for Learning Ltd with its shareholder schools and customers.

    The MAT will work with a range of partners to secure the best value services to meet the needs of its academies including Teaching School Alliances, NLEs, SLEs, LLEs and NLGs, other MATs, University of Hertfordshire, Education Service of the Diocese of Westminster and the St Albans Diocesan Board and HertsCam.

    HfL Ltd will remain unchanged in its current form as your School Improvement Company trading its services in Hertfordshire and beyond and developing products and services to suit your needs. Herts for Learning Ltd currently trades with maintained schools, academies, free schools, MATs and independent schools as well as other customers and that will continue; so please be assured that for HfL Ltd it will be business as usual.

    To find out more and to find out about the HfL MAT members and trustees please look at the new HfL MAT website

    The HfL MAT Trustees have now started the process for recruiting to the HfL MAT CEO post. The recruitment pack is on the HfL MAT website under the section working for us.

    If you have any questions about anything concerning the HfL MAT please make contact through