Umbrella trusts are an alternative to a Multi Academy Trust.
If a school wants to convert as part of an Umbrella Trust (UT), each school will convert as a separate Academy Trust, but will in turn agree to join or set up a UT to join a group of schools together. Schools typically convert with a cluster of schools that they already have a relationship with; or with those that they identify as having a similar ethos or strength.
This structure can be appealing to schools as they retain the autonomy of having their own Trust but are able to agree a structure with a group of schools that can allow shared governance, collaboration and procurement of services. The model works most effectively where academies are geographically close. The UT model is also effective for primaries wishing to formalise their relationship with their link secondary school.