ASCL Annual Conference, 10th March

Join us on Stand 1, Hall 3 at this year’s ASCL Annual Conference at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Birmingham.

For more information visit the ASCL website.


Join GL Assessment and guest speakers, Paul Smith, Futures Academies and Wendy Marshall, David Ross Education Trust as they deliver a presentation on:

Growing pains: Considerations and best practice for successful Multi Academy Trusts

Time: 11.45am – 12.45pm, Friday 10 March 2017

Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) have become a key feature of the education landscape over the last two years and Sir David Carter, the National Schools Commissioner, has helped to create a definition of success for MATs, whatever their size. Here, two leading MAT figures will discuss the challenges and the successes they have faced during their expansion, offering guidance for schools and MATs going through the same process.

How have they devised common structures across their MAT? What challenges have they faced when new schools join the fold? How can MATs embed best practice in teaching, school improvement and assessment across the board? How are key improvements shared? What has worked well and what hasn’t? What opportunities do MATs provide staff for professional development? How do you create and communicate your MAT’s strategic vision, and how do you demonstrate impact?

The session will include a Q&A for delegates.


Speaker biographies 

Wendy Marshall

Wendy has diverse and varied experience within the financial and educational sector, spanning thirty-five years at local, regional and national level and with over twenty years in executive positions. Her work has focused on areas heavily influenced by national policy involving a high degree of change, risk and challenge reporting to Ministerial Boards, Regional Councils and Boards of Trustees. 

Wendy joined the Trust in 2011 to grow and embed the sponsor’s vision with a particular focus on ensuring the Trust delivers high quality education and outstanding opportunity to young people in areas of disadvantage served by the Trust. Bringing deep knowledge of the national education agenda, combined with a hands-on understanding of individual schools’ requirements to the David Ross Education Trust, she leads the Trust towards its ambition of providing inspirational opportunities and educational excellence to its network of academies. 

Paul Smith

Paul Smith is the Chief Executive of Future Academies and a National Leader of Education (NLE). Future Academies is a Multi-Academy Trust which was established in the Pimlico area of inner London. Future Academies is one of the most effective sponsors in the country. It sponsors five schools both secondary and primary. Three of the schools are judged Outstanding. Future are advocates of a knowledge rich curriculum and have developed a model of subject specialist teaching from KS2 onwards.

Over almost 20 years Paul has gained wide experience in schools, leading his own schools to be judged as Outstanding by Ofsted and turning around some of the toughest schools in the North of England. Paul started his career in Primary Education teaching across EYFS, KS1 and KS2. He has also spent time as an Advanced Skills Teacher teaching in KS3 and KS4. Paul has gained a reputation for leading highly effective teams to secure outstanding outcomes for all pupils regardless of background.

Through his work with the National College, as an NLE and head of a Teaching School, he has worked on developing several national programmes looking at improving system leadership in the sector. He has worked on several key development groups at the Department for Education over the last 15 years including the National Headteacher reference group. Paul has also worked as an Ofsted inspector and has taken part in international visits to schools in Shanghai, Sweden and South Africa. 

More recently Paul took up the post as one of the first Regional Schools Commissioner at the Department for Education. Raising standards across schools in the North West of England and establishing the Blackpool Challenge initiative to raise outcomes in the local area.