The drivers for the merger can be wide ranging although they largely fall into the following categories:
In the early stages, we recommend putting in place:
At this point, it is usual to determine the proposed mechanism for the merger - ie which MAT will transfer its academies into the other. In these circumstances where there is a merger of equals, it is possible to create the optics of a 'new' MAT, rather than to draw attention to one party being the 'acquirer' or the 'disposer' - which is essentially just the legal mechanism of bringing the academies all together. The merged MAT can then be launched.
The staff at the Transferring Academies (and ordinarily the central team at the transferring MAT), will transfer to the other MAT under the TUPE Regulations. As is the case on conversion to academy status, specified information needs to be provided to the recognised trade unions in respect of the proposed transfers. In the event of 'measures' (ie changes to terms and conditions) being proposed, consultation will be required. A list of all transferring staff will also be required.
If any of the academies operated by the transferring MAT are designated with having religious character then the relevant religious authority (for eg the relevant Church of England diocese), will need to be consulted at an early stage. Their formal consent will necessarily be required for certain legal aspects.
Broadly, the legal process involves:
For further guidance on the step by step process, please access our guide to mergers on our Onstream portal.