Skip to main content

Better Futures MAT

Founding Member bilborough_college

To Better Futures Multi Academy trust is the only university sponsored MAT to have sixth form colleges and post 16 and beyond education as its focus.

The MAT is sponsored by Coventry University and has three founder members:  King Edward VI College in Nuneaton, Bilborough College in Nottingham and Gateway College in Leicester.

King Edward Vi regularly takes inspiration from evidence based research. Approaches to leadership and staff development have been highly informed from research developed by Robert Kegan & Lisa Laskow Lahey. Specifically their ethnographic and qualitative research which formed the work entitled ‘Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organisation’. Teachers at King Edward have also developed and shared their own pedagogical practices based on action research around areas such as metacognition and retrieval practice.

At Bilborough College, we began our research journey in September 2018, when we launched Action Research (AR) projects with the aim of having a Positive Impact on teaching, learning and assessment, encourage staff to take risks, experiment and take the learning from their projects back into their faculties. We acknowledged our staff as being our experts on what works best in our context with our students in our subjects. ​By January 2019 twenty AR projects had been completed by our staff with a further five by June 2019. In July of that year we held an event in the college to share these AR projects with our staff. In September 2019 all teaching staff including tutors at the college were encouraged to begin AR in their Teaching, Learning and Assessment.

At Gateway College we value the opportunity to explore the educational landscape and we support our teachers to experiment, innovate and reflect so that they can confidently implement new strategies, share outcomes with colleagues, and continually provide high quality teaching and learning. We have principles in using evidence-based pedagogy and in 2017 we implemented an action research group to encourage teachers to explore a wide range of teaching, learning and assessment strategies to impact and develop practice. In 2019 we collaborated with the Skills and Education Group to host the first ‘Growing Your Potential’ TeachMeet, which enabled eight teachers from Gateway College to present their research and share outcomes with colleagues from across the sector. Since then, Gateway College teachers have attended and presented at an FEResearchMeet, delivered sessions on teacher training courses and participated in online conferences to learn and share strategies and develop their own practice. We are excited about the next phase of our research journey and look forward to being part of a Deliberately Developmental Organisation, collaborating across the MAT and working with The Research College Group to further enhance our research output

BF MAT aims to transform the futures of young people through excellence, innovation and opportunity. To do this BF MAT aims to become a national hub for excellence in 16-19 education.

A commitment to carry out research can be seen in each of our values. We are ambitious in our commitment to create exceptional learning experiences for our students, staff and communities and are always striving to connect new ideas to concrete realities. Being Curious, we have a love of learning and a strong desire to know more. We constantly ask questions of ourselves and others, embrace new approaches and aren’t afraid to make mistakes. We are Involved and inclusive, open and are all actively engaged to make a difference to the communities we serve. We value and celebrate our communities’ diversity of thought, expertise, experience and background. We support each other’s work and we support each other as individuals, both professionally and personally. We help each other to make decisions that improve our work and benefit our students, staff and community.  We are genuine and always tell the truth, own up when we’ve made mistakes and deal with the consequences of our actions. Our actions reflect the things we say and the values we believe in. We are optimistic, viewing everything with a positive eye and an open mind. We strive to foster an environment of optimism.

As a Deliberately Developmental Organisation BF MAT embraces research in education, by being a member of the Research College Group we can continue our journey to become a national hub for excellence in 16-19 education.

See more from Better Futures MAT

Find out more