HfL appointed as partner to Multi Academy Trust Association

    Published: 11 March 2022

    We are pleased to announce we have been appointed as official finance and internal scrutiny partner to newly established Multi Academy Trust Association (MATA).

    MATA is a free to join association for current and aspiring Trust leaders to learn and engage with fellow educational leaders keeping them up to date with the latest news, resources, and trusted suppliers for MATs. MATA as a free association is important meaning budgets are used towards children’s education and improving services within schools.

    MATA advisory board member Stephen Holden said ‘Our main purpose is to create a community of practice where trust leaders can seek guidance, develop, and network. Our hand-picked partners including HfL are fundamental to this vision and have been chosen for their forward thinking, research-based approaches to supporting schools and MATs. MATA draws on their knowledge and expertise to ensure that all its members have the tools, support, and challenge necessary to deliver a first-class education for all children in their schools’

    Herts for Learning has had a dedicated team supporting Academy Trusts with their financial management, reporting and internal scrutiny since November 2014.

    The team contains education finance specialists, qualified accountants and is led by Louise Shaw who worked and qualified at PwC in their public sector assurance team.

    Alongside the team there is a business management team whose members have worked in academy trusts in CFO and COO roles and as members of SLT reporting to the CEO. They have experienced Trust life through the phases of academy conversion, and growth of Trust

    membership.

    Members of both teams are accredited SRMA consultants and Louise Shaw is a member of the CFO mentoring scheme for the DFE. They have undertaken deployments with all kinds of Academy Trusts facing various stages in the evolution of MAT growth and operation.

    HfL works closely with Academy trusts to undertake due diligence to consider the financial sustainability of potential Trust members; support for the setup of Trusts establishing processes and procedures for individual school financial management developing and implementing common standards and approaches across member schools; support for Trust CFO in the consolidation of accounts and reporting thereon to trustees.

    Our experience in this market means we are asked by other Trusts and external auditors to undertake internal audit and scrutiny to provide Trustee boards with assurance of compliance and identifying areas of key risk against requirements in the Academy Trust handbook.

    ‘Following recent work at HfL developing our bespoke proposition for MAT’s, we see the partnership as an acknowledgement of this and feel very well placed to provide the best service in the market to MATA members’ said David Windridge, People Director at HfL.

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