The Methodist Church as a provider of education through its publicly funded schools is now held to account for the educational standards in its schools, and the quality of the support it offers them. It has particular responsibilities, when a school opts to become an academy, or in those circumstances when a school is in difficulty and is required to become an academy as a means of improvement.
The Methodist Academies and Schools Trust (MAST) was formally established in January 2012. Its purpose is to offer support and oversight for all Methodist, ecumenical, community and Free Schools.
MAST is a recognised and approved sponsor by the Government's Department for Education.
Hawkesley Church Primary was the first church academy sponsored jointly by the Birmingham Diocese of the Church of England and MAST. It was launched officially in September 2013.
MAST works closely with MIST (the Methodist Independent Schools Trust) to develop partnerships, share educational expertise and offer mutual support. The two trusts intentionally share the same Chair.
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