BMAT school trust launches sports trading arm
Burnt Mill Academy / Thu 20th Jul 2023 at 08:55am
SCHOOL sport and leisure facilities are being professionally managed and let to community groups.
Your Community Sports & Leisure is a trading arm of BMAT Education, which looks after 12 primary and secondary schools in Harlow, Epping and Stansted in Essex and Newham in London.
The new organisation oversees the letting, maintenance and management of the facilities within the education trust.
It was launched after Mark Hall Academy, in Harlow, joined the Trust in 2021, bringing with it the Mark Hall Sports Centre.
Now, Your Community Sports & Leisure is responsible for swimming pools, sports halls, gyms, studios, athletics tracks, Astroturfs, hard courts and halls, as well as hiring out classrooms, theatres and drama studios to sports clubs, church groups and for music events.
It hosts basketball, netball, football, athletics and badminton clubs and fitness classes.
The company has a partnership with Norwich City Regional Development Programme, and caters for Changing Lives, part of the HAF23 (Holiday Activities & Food Programme) funded by Active Essex.
A funding grant from Active Essex will also see the company provide after-school extra-curricular activities at Mark Hall Academy, Freshwaters Primary Academy, Little Parndon Primary Academy and Cooks Spinney Primary Academy, all in Harlow.
The £46,000 will be invested in equipment and external coaching to provide gymnastics, girls football, judo, dance, yoga, trampolining and table tennis.
David Hull, sports and facilities manager, said: “Setting up this trading company demonstrates BMAT’s commitment to our facilities and allows specialist staff to handle that side of operations instead of pulling school staff away from their roles.
“Mark Hall Sports Centre brought with it a great history within the Harlow community, with local clubs utilising the facilities to provide a wide range of sports to the town.
“In this day and age, it is vital schools fully immerse themselves in the community and allow residents to use their facilities. These profits will benefit the upkeep and maintenance of the facilities and equipment to enable teachers to deliver the best curriculum possible, with reputable facility standards and fantastic equipment accessible.”
The launch of the company has created ten jobs across Mark Hall Sports Centre and Sir Frederick Gibberd Sports – at Sir Frederick Gibberd College, in Harlow – including duty managers, shift leaders, assistants, part-time contractors, casual contractors and class instructors.
In London, four casual lettings assistant roles have been created to work on lettings at Royal Docks Academy seven days a week.
Four more casual lettings assistants work across the Trust.
On what planet is it seen as normal for a school to operate a commercial arm? MATs are private schools and run on the idea that the best educational results are through competition and terminal examinations whereas education is in fact a collaborative process. Some MATs do fail but the news of this is not widely acknowledged mainly because MATs and academies are a Conservative government's way of wresting education away from Local Authorities to central government. It's reported that MAT are worsening the already poor conditions of service for teachers, the signs aren't good. It's the educational equivalent about needing to get the traders out of the Temple.