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This paper provides empirical data about the ways in which English Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) are governed and operate and more broadly adds to the flourishing literature on MATs by revealing perspectives on governance and leadership through an analysis of interviews with 51 most senior individuals, most typically MAT Chief Executives. A bank of accounts was created of how governance structures operate in their MATs and where improvements and support are needed. The paper draws on data from case studies undertaken as part of two larger studies.
The results from this paper shed light on the extreme demands that confront educational organizations such as MATs operating in complex and contested environments, and the capabilities required to meet them.