Due diligence checklist and advice for Multi-Academy Trusts

Anthony Collins Solicitors provides a wide range of services to Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) and other educational establishments. These include establishing new MATs, adding a school to an existing MAT, transfers of academies between MATs, mergers, collaborations, contractual arrangements, disputes, property transactions, employment law issues and due diligence exercises.

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When is a due diligence exercise required?

A due diligence exercise may be relevant in a number of circumstances, for example if a MAT is looking to merge or collaborate with another MAT and it wants to understand more about the structure and sustainability of the other MAT. Due diligence is of particular importance when a MAT is considering whether or not to allow a school to become part of the MAT family. In this case, the aim of the due diligence process is to provide the MAT with essential information about the school or academy wishing to join so that there are no unpleasant surprises afterwards which could have a detrimental impact on the MAT and its Academies. We have helped a number of MATs undertake different forms of due diligence. In some cases we have directly undertaken the due diligence for the MAT, and in others we have provided support in the background advising upon issues revealed by the due diligence process. We can, therefore, tailor the support we offer according to the in-house resource available to the MAT for this work.

Due Diligence Checklist

We have created a Due Diligence Checklist setting out the information a MAT should obtain to gain a sufficient understanding of the school or academy joining the MAT. Whilst the checklist is relatively comprehensive, it is not exhaustive since every MAT’s due diligence process needs to have the flexibility to take into consideration local requirements or features. There may be some areas listed in the Due Diligence Checklist that don’t apply in all cases, and there may be some circumstances where a MAT board is able to take a more relaxed approach. Our Due Diligence Checklist does, however, cover all of the areas that we consider will be relevant in the vast majority of academy conversions and transfers.

Our Due Diligence Checklist covers all of the major areas you need to consider including:

The document deliberately focuses on legal issues and doesn’t attempt to cover what might be described as ‘educational due diligence’. There will, therefore, be other areas in relation to which the MAT requires information, for example, the latest OFSTED report, details of the school’s vision, values and ethos, the school improvement plan, self-evaluation documents, special educational needs provision and so on. These additional areas should be considered alongside the areas set out in our legal Due Diligence Checklist.

We hope that our Due Diligence Checklist will prove a useful tool for you in the growth and development of your MAT. To request your free copy simply complete the form below. 

For more information

If you have any questions or require any help with any form of due diligence process then please contact Christopher Whittington.

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Sector Lead

Chris Whittington

Head of education

Head of the education team