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 Research objectives

Regulated first aid training for staff in schools has always been an important business sector for St. John Ambulance and the company had tended to serve individual schools.

The development of schools into academies and in turn into Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) presented new challenges and opportunities for St. John Ambulance.

Research was required to better understand the structure and operating processes of MATs, so that St. John Ambulance could better serve their needs in the future.


The research method selected was in-depth interviews, conducted by phone. In total, some 17 interviews were conducted with MATs that have more than 10 schools.

 Conclusions & Insights

The main themes emerging from the research were as follows:

  • MATs have been increasing in number and growing in size
  • There is now greater collaboration between schools and academies and this will continue in the future.
  • There is a shift towards more centralised buying and formalised procurement.
  • The school buying process for products and services has become more complex and the larger MATs behave more like large corporations.