Operations & Procurement
Teachers need more time to teach and so we work to allow schools to focus on delivering excellent education by centralising services to achieve operational efficiencies. We provide robust and centralised services support to our schools, enabling resources to be used as effectively as possible.
Headed by the AST’s operations and finance director Patrick Overy, the Operations board comprises the business managers and bursars of the member schools, plus any appropriate co-opted professionals from in and outside the MAT. It contributes to the termly monitoring return to the trust. Its responsibilities include ensuring that all schools are financially viable, examining and progressing synergies across the MAT, highlighting capital and maintenance projects and ensuring that MAT services, such as HR and payroll, are effectively run and monitored. The operations board also plays a key role in assessing schools that have requested to join Athena Schools Trust.
Athena Schools Trust aspires to be a school-led MAT with the member schools working together for mutual benefit. In financial terms, our ethos is to support schools and maximise their resources available for Learning and Teaching, our shared core purpose.
The MAT provides opportunities to:
- Increase our shared buying power
- Provide services in-house that are currently bought-in
- Centralise key support services where economic and practical to do so
Expert procurement practice can provide a welcome source of additional funds. The Trust provides cost-efficiency healthchecks, reviewed annually, to ensure every school benefits from the best possible pricing versus benchmarks. The MAT also provides a database of preferred suppliers and management of utility procurement and school insurances.
Athena Schools Trust also provides shared service benefits in the areas of human resources and financial data, legal, IT, governance, marketing, development, CPD/training, Ofsted healthcheck and facilities management as centralised Executive Services.