Welcome to More Than Words, one of the leading suppliers of UK schools data to businesses, charities, and the public sector.
Our 2021 multi academy schools database contains all of the information your organisation needs to get in touch with the 5,265 schools belonging to multi academy trust plus 4,726 emails to get in touch with them.
On this article on our list of multi academy trusts, we cover:
- what a multi academy trust is
- why you should concentrate more of your marketing efforts on multi-academy trusts
- how to win your first few orders from multi-academy trusts
- the data included on our list of multi academy trusts in the UK
- your first three email broadcasts – getting us to do them for you
- our range of technical and marketing support services
- how to order our multi academy trusts email database
Multi academy trust definition
Academies were first launched in England in 2010.
They are not funded by their local authority – they’re funded directly by the Department for Education unlike voluntary schools or community schools.
72% of English schools (both primary, middle, and secondary) have converted to academy status following the introduction of the legislation.
Many schools converted to academies because of a desire among their teaching and management staff to run their school in the way that they wanted to with their budget being top sliced by their local authority.
Other schools were forcibly converted into academies because they were deemed to be failing by OFSTED and then brought into a sponsoring MAT group to start their road to recovery.
What is a multi-academy trust?
A multi-academy trust is responsible for the operation of more than one academy school. At time of the production of the latest version of the database, there are:
Number of schools operated
|Number of MATS
|Five or fewer
|Six to eleven
|Twelve to twenty-five
|Twenty-six or more
Why concentrate your marketing efforts on multi-academy trusts?
The education sector has long been a domino marketplace.
In other words, as soon as you win business and gain trust from one school, you’re more likely to receive enquiries and generate new business from other schools.
It’s always hardest to find the first school but, with patience and an intelligent approach to marketing, it can be done within weeks or month.
Most of the public sector, including schools, are initially wary of dealing with private sector suppliers.
In the public sector, resources are scarce and, if the wrong procurement decision is made, there are consequences both for the overall operation of the organisation and the career prospects of the individual or individuals in charge of making the final decision.
Procurement officers and decision-makers within the public sector do talk to each other frequently because many of them face the same issues.
When marketing and selling to multi-academy trusts, there is an important difference compared to marketing and selling to the wider public sector.
The wider public sector operates to much more codified and defined procedures whereas schools (and MATs) generally decide their own purchasing procedures.
In other words, it’s easier to sell to schools and it doesn’t take as long.
Who should I contact within multi-academy trusts?
A major motivating factor behind schools joining or forming multi-academy trusts is the ability to achieve significant cost savings through bulk buying – some of the savings enjoyed by member schools can be up to 20%.
MATS schools also benefit from a shared vision and ethos across the group, better financial management, and a joint focus on staff development.
For educational products
Although some MATS completely standardise the curriculum across all of their group schools (and the products and services they buy in to support curriculum teaching), many still allow a great deal of flexibility on how individual academies within their group teach and how they deliver the group curriculum.
In primary multi-academy schools, you should contact the Head Teacher if selling education-related products.
In most cases, you should be able to deal directly with the individual academy rather than be directed to the administrative department of the MAT group.
S/he is however often advised by key members of staff known as co-ordinators.
As well as heads of year co-ordinators, the co-ordinators within primaries include art, citizenship, English & literacy, geography, history, IT, mathematics, music, physical education, PSE, re, science, technology and special needs.
The headteacher is only one decision maker within secondary multi-academy schools on education-related products although s/he is (obviously) the most senior and usually signs everything off.
Budgets for secondaries are much higher than for other schools and, normally, the head teacher will allocate a certain budget per department which is administered by the heads of those departments.
Secondary schools normally have many heads of department – the number is often related to the size of school as measured in pupil numbers. Typical areas of heads of department are as follows – art & design, biology, business studies, careers, chemistry, citizenship studies, classics, technology, drama, economics, English, food science, French, geography, German, history, ICT, maths, media studies, modern languages, music, PE, performing arts, physics, PSE, psychology, re, science, sociology, Spanish, and special needs.
For non-educational products
School business managers are the senior financial and administrative contacts within most schools. Their main job, in conjunction with the head teacher, is to allocate their school’s resources and budgets efficiently.
Although some MATs will source the following centrally, many schools within MAT groups do have purchasing responsibility over the following:
- General ordering of products and services
- Handling contracted services like catering, cleaning, maintenance and IT support
- Administrative systems
If you are involved in value-driven services (for example, services on contract) rather than value-added products and services (for example, teaching aids), the school business manager may be the better person for you to contact.
If you offer services to schools in accounting, health and safety, budget planning, construction, and salary processing, you’ll be more than likely asked to deal with the administrative and managerial departments of the MAT group rather than individual schools.
How do you win your first few orders from multi-academy trusts through marketing?
Adopt an engaging, respectful tone of voice
Email adverts written in a more advertorial/press-release style are far more successful than the language you’d see in straight-out adverts.
The best way to describe this would be as if your advert was a PR release that was published by a local newspaper.
Try not to write adverts in the first person (for example, “our furniture is brilliant” and “we offer a full design and installation service”).
We would instead recommend that you write “The Schools Furniture Company” has received many recommendations from education customers” and “The company offers a full design and installation service”. A more gentle, factual linguistic approach appeals much more to academy school buyers.
Use research in your email
Where it is appropriate, you should make relevant mentions of government, trade union or parent-teacher association mentions to further make the advert feel factual.
The research presented must never be presented in a threatening, “you-must-do-this-now” way. It should be presented as informative and factual giving readers guidance of how what you do can help them achieve compliance.
Friendly but formal language
You should always carefully word adverts in such a way that what you are offering is an aid to the school in achieving even higher standards than the high standards they are achieving now.
Your product or service should never be presented as the “solution to their prayers” as this may make more experienced teachers feel as if they are being talked down to.
Imagine the wording used as conversation between teachers for an idea of the tone you should adopt and the words you should use.
You should start your email off with an interesting but non-sensational headline.
So, if you run an outdoor furniture manufacturer, you should use something like “Scheme to create outdoor play opportunities with pupils” rather than “Buy now and save on brilliant outdoor furniture”.
Don’t give up after one attempt
Depending on what your product or service is, the schools and the teachers you want to buy from you will come into the “buying cycle” at certain intervals.
If you’re a stationery supplier, the buying cycle might occur once a month – if you supply fitted air conditioning systems and service them, the buying cycle might only occur every five to ten years.
When someone is out of the buying cycle, there’s nothing you can do to bring them back in. No matter how attractive your offer, no matter how good the advert design may be or how persuasive the text, they just don’t need what you have.
Accept that when you send an email off, only 3-5 out of every 100 or more you contact will be in a position to buy – they have the need and they have the cash.
If you’ve worked with schools before, let the reader know
If you’ve worked with schools before, it’s always best to refer to your experience within your email copy.
Better still, if you can get a school customer to give you a quote expressing how pleased they are with your service, that will really help your campaign. Testimonials from other schools DO help you stand out.
Don’t worry if you’re looking for your first school customer and you’ve got no testimonials to provide just yet. Each of the companies you compete against was in the same position at one time.
All this does mean though is that you have to send more email to those schools so they get to know and trust your brand. You’re building up your brand image and reputation with each school you email which is not in the buying cycle at the time and this is important for later on.
What data is included on our multi academy schools database?
Our list of multi academy trusts 2019-2020 contains 5,265 schools belonging to 1,288 trust groups.
Users also benefit from the inclusion of 4,726 emails belonging to those schools.
In addition to the contact details and email addresses, purchasers of the UK Multi Academy Trust Database also receive:
- postal address (including postcode)
- school type
- headteacher name (where available)
- telephone number
- school website
- number of pupils
- lowest and highest age of pupils
- amount received in pupil premium
- OFSTED rating
- local authority
- nursery provision
- gender and religious characteristics
- school capacity
- SEN classes
Our database contains information on some of the best known school academy trusts including Dixons MAT and the 1excellence Multi Academy Trust.
After you’ve placed your order, one of our copywriters will get in touch with you. They’ll find out as much as possible about your product or service and then do research into:
- how it links into the wider curriculum and provides better pupil/student results (if yours is an education-related product or service),
- how your product or service can save the school and the MAT money, or
- how it can help a school and its MAT group attract more pupils/students (meaning a higher grant award).
When the advert has been written, it will then be passed to one of our in-house designers.
They will design an attractive, elegant email which highlights the message you’re trying to convey and which works on all platforms (desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet).
Once the designer has completed the first draft, we’ll send it to you for review. We’ll then keep working on the email based upon the feedback you send to us until you’re completely happy with it.
Three email sends
We’ll then send your email once a month to the Multi Academy Trust schools and provide you with a report on opens, clickthroughs, and unsubscribes.
We also offer a service where we’ll carry out follow-up telephone calls on your behalf in an attempt to either:
- generate an appointment,
- strengthen a lead which you can then pass to your sales team, or
- find out the information you need about a school so that you can make your sales approach to them more relevant and bespoke.
Full technical support with your list of multi academy trusts UK
Our list of all multi academy trusts is fully searchable. You can target all or some of the MAT schools contained on the database using a number of different criteria.
If you wanted…
- a list of multi academy trusts in London,
- a list of multi academy trusts in Cornwall, or
- a list of multi academy trusts in England,
…extracting it from the data file is easy. You may wish to target smaller or large MATs – it’s just as easy to extract a full list of multi academy trusts by size too.
If you’re not technically confident or you want help to manipulate the database or integrate it with a customer relationship management platform, call us any time during office hours and ask to speak to our technical support team. Our technical support service is free of charge.
Order your list of multi academy trusts in the UK with full marketing and technical support
You will receive the following when you order our list of multi-academy trusts in the UK with back-up support:
- 5,265 schools belonging to 1,288 trust groups
- 4,726 email addresses
- Comprehensive market intelligence and contact data on listed schools
- 12 month usage licence
- Updated every 3 months (updates sent on request)
- First three broadcasts
- First email design
- Free technical and advertising support included
The More Than Words team have supplied education data and marketing services to over 8,000 companies in the UK. We look forward to the opportunity of working with you and your team to open new opportunities in the multi-academy trust sector.
To find out more or to order, please call 0330 010 8300 or click here to email us.