Strictly Education Ltd

Expanding MATs – 3 ways to grow smarter

Expanding Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) face real challenges with more staff to recruit, manage and pay. With the Department for Education expecting most trusts to work towards serving at least 10 schools or 7,500 pupils, it is not surprising many MATs feel under pressure.

That’s where EduPeople from Strictly Education can help. EduPeople has been designed as one single system that manages HR, payroll and pensions together. It makes it easy for trusts to recruit, onboard and retain their best people whilst managing staff absence effectively. It provides clear, accurate data to inform strategic decision making through a single view over the entire workforce. And it comes with ongoing support from 50 HR and payroll experts. Strictly Education has forged strong relationships with 900 academies and 180 MATs across the country, and is proud to have sponsored the 2022 Academy Partnership Award.

1. Recruiting and retaining the best people

From recruitment to retirement EduPeople saves time and costs. It replaces outdated in-house systems and is completely scalable to keep pace with MAT expansion no matter how many academies join a trust or the number of employees. Because staff absences and low retention rates cost MATs money, it has an innovative absence-management tool to closely monitor all employee absences in a single system. Benefits include: visibility at a glance of where the issues lie; the ability to monitor and take action to prevent them; reduced staff absence and less need for expensive supply teachers. Another advantage is employee self service, which allows staff to check their own records and update their details, gives them the autonomy to view/download payslips and manage holidays, and saves line managers time. What’s more, EduPeople helps MATs foster a high-performance culture through effective management of staff performance, appraisals and CPD.

2. Accurate data for strategic decision making

High-level MAT data reporting and dashboards provide improved insights to inform confident strategic decision making. With EduPeople, Trusts gain more control of data, processes and staff records, reducing admin workload through automated workflows, saving time and cost, improving accuracy and answering compliance challenges. How? Because EduPeople is a real-time platform where a record updated on any system is updated everywhere, producing consistent data that is simple to maintain and eliminates the burden of duplicate records. The Insight Builder dashboard provides up-to-date information from one source, and data can be viewed at individual school/academy level or MAT-wide. To improve compliance and reporting to DfE, Ofsted, Trustees and key stakeholders, EduPeople manages Single Central Record, Equality Data and more. To make life as easy as possible for growing MATs, it has an open API so can integrate with other school systems such as MIS and budgeting software. And data security has been inbuilt into EduPeople’s secure cloud-hosted platform.

3. Complete support

With nearly 20 years of experience in serving schools, Strictly Education understands that MAT business leaders expect a wraparound service and support – they don’t just want to be left alone with software! A unique strength of EduPeople is that it comes with 50 HR and payroll experts – all clients receive a named payroll officer and support from a team on an ongoing basis, including CIPP-qualified payroll staff. Because payroll and pensions are too important and too sensitive to be handed over to the new kid on the block, when choosing a new provider MATs rightly consider the track record and reputation of each. Strictly Education has supported schools and academy trusts for nearly two decades and has already migrated 14,000 school staff onto EduPeople. This is the expertise that underpins the company’s belief that EduPeople is the future of HR, payroll and pensions for MATs. In fact, 94% of school staff* feel confident using EduPeople after one training session.

Stop HR problems escalating

Not only can EduPeople be transformative, but Strictly Education also offers HR consultancy to ensure schools are one step ahead and stop HR problems escalating. Strictly Education experts can attend meetings with staff and unions, support on strategic HR planning, provide capacity to help meet demands, be a sounding board – it is a completely bespoke service.

Functionality and affordability

Strictly Education has invested significantly in developing EduPeople specifically for the education sector, and in particular to meet the requirements of growing MATs. It provides all the functionality that larger MATs need, at a price point they can afford.

In the words of the Head of Finance from one Church of England Trust: “We chose to partner with Strictly Education as our values are aligned and they totally understand the intricacies of education payroll and HR because they only work with schools and academy trusts.”

To find out how EduPeople can prime your MAT for expansion, book a demonstration or make an enquiry today. 

*Training evaluation feedback from staff whose schools have moved across to EduPeople.

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