Digitally Transforming Your Trust - Cantium Insights
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With growing contention over the DfE’s target for a fully trust-led system by 2030, there are reports that the proposal for all schools to join or form a multi-academy trust (MAT) by that time, have been axed. Concerns were that such a “rapid” transition could cause issues for “trust quality”, potentially impacting on other educational policy priorities such as COVID-19 recovery. Despite this, it’s clear our school system is evolving into a fully trust-led model (albeit at a slightly slower pace) providing schools with the support they need to thrive, increased budgetary control, and importantly, more opportunity to innovate.

The recently launched Schools White Paper sets out the markers for success and the five key areas that trusts can use to show strength, these are:

  • High quality and inclusive education
  • Commitment to school improvement
  • Strategic governance
  • Financial management
  • Workforce planning and development

Focusing on these five key areas and establishing a framework for how performance can be managed requires streamlined process. This is where real-time data and insights can help to identify strong schools, particular departments or initiatives within the MAT that can be mirrored elsewhere and used to uplift other schools within the trust.

A well-integrated and utilised Management Information System (MIS) has the potential to make a huge difference to the effective running of a school and the wider trust. This in turn can have a strong impact on pupil outcomes and staff workload. Unfortunately, outdated and legacy systems just don’t provide that holistic view of real-time data needed across the board. On top of this, they often fail to integrate with other MIS’ and platforms within the trust.

Making the most of your investment

As a key reporting tool, the MIS is fundamental to how schools run. However, the 2023 Academies Benchmark Report highlights that only 55 percent of MATs are fully centralised. Getting the most out of your investment is key and sometimes a fresh perspective can help unlock new ideas and ways of working.

Working with a team of MIS experts like Cantium can help to develop the skills of your Senior Leadership Team and provide the day-to-day support staff need to manage your school’s MIS and get the most from the data it holds.

A single source of truth

When used to its potential, a school’s MIS can drastically speed up reporting, helping you to collect and analyse data more efficiently. This insight can enable better decision-making, leading to improved outcomes for pupils. With a fit for purpose and secure MIS, you can reduce costs, free up funds for teaching and learning and ensure staff can access the system securely from anywhere, using Microsoft Azure.

As MATs expand, it’s essential that they have a single source of truth. Increased integration between systems through APIs is key to enabling trusts to analyse their own data. Cantium’s Hosted School Information Management System Service can integrate with popular third-party solutions so that you can securely share relevant data between schools and applications.

Of course, there is no avoiding the current financial pressures facing schools up and down the country. But to ensure financial sustainability, MATs need to put innovation at the heart of education – and this includes the way trusts are managed. This isn’t easy but having a clear vision for technology that adds value to teaching and provides a better-connected school at every level is a solid starting point.

If you would like to speak to an expert about making the most of your MIS investment, please get in touch with our team on 03000 411 115, or by emailing