Matt, MATs and MATA Matters

Here at Blue Apple Education, we are excited to join the Multi-Academy Trust Association – MATA – as a strategic partner, with our own Mark Davis joining their advisory board. This is an opportunity to contribute even more to strengthening MATs and their schools through communications, marketing and branding. Key to that support is understanding and passing on knowledge of the whole process of implementing a strategy for growth – in admissions, attracting staff or gaining recognition. School websites, prospectuses and logos are features of a measured and incremental strategy for progression.


Matt McDermott should look like a wise and wizened wizard, given his ability to set up an effective and popular service on the coattails of the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, he looks – by his own admission – like the year 9 student whose clandestine activities drive many a MAT leader to need support. Support, that is, from an association developed especially to provide tailored and expert help and advice for MAT leaders.

Free to join and open to all MAT leaders, the Multi-Academy Trust Association is something of a refuge as well as a practical resource, a peer-to-peer platform and place to find guidance and news. Members are individuals from the sector looking to connect with others and to benefit from professional development opportunities around a range of MAT matters such as finance; mental health; project, people and pupil management.

Despite its relaxed and friendly appearance, MATA hosts a consummate advisory board, featuring none other than Mark Davis of Blue Apple Education and rock star fame. Mark hosts our popular Out Of The Blue video podcasts and leads on the delivery of our Masterclasses. He has many years experience in school communications and plays a key role in Blue Apple Education supporting MATs and their schools. Director of Blue Apple Education, David Limb, sees a natural alignment of values and commitment to the sector in this strategic partnership.

The willingness of both to see the lighter side of life and work belies an understanding of the strains and burdens of pushing forward in education, dealing with topics such as safeguarding, teaching styles and recruitment.

When the remarkable is recognised and harnessed it can help a school to attract pupils and the right staff, by changing perceptions and perspectives on the outside.

Back in the land of branding, marketing and communications, David, Mark and the team at Blue Apple Education take immense pleasure in sharing their expertise with multi-academy trusts and schools facing communication challenges. Problems and queries taken to MATA might sometimes surprisingly be eased by support to explore ‘the remarkable’ in a trust. When the remarkable is recognised and harnessed it can help a school to attract pupils and the right staff, by changing perceptions and perspectives on the outside. Blue Apple Education is always keen to emphasise that creating an image isn’t like an advertiser tricking people into buying chocolate or perfume or whiteboard pens – it’s about matching values, outcomes and remarkable features with the external view. People know who you are and what you represent because you communicate that effectively.  

Blue Apple Education, like MATA, is concerned with resolving problems – but also maintaining an ongoing relationship with schools and trusts. From year 9 students with issues to staff shortages to social media fails, communication is the key to navigating how a school connects, promotes and interacts with the world. Blue Apple Education offers large and small interventions that are not only about providing, for example, a school website or prospectus, a school branding strategy or admissions drive – they are about being available when concerns arise, and about upskilling schools and individual staff so they acquire knowhow for themselves.

Partnerships are built on communication. It sits at the heart of teacher-pupil relationships, company collaborations and customer care. Blue Apple Education is proud to be part of MATA, committed, as we are, to supporting MATs in their growth.

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