Astrea MAT – improved functionality at a fraction of the cost

Astrea MAT – improved functionality at a fraction of the cost

The Astrea Multi Academy Trust has 28 schools and around 2,200 employees ranged from Cambridgeshire through to West Yorkshire.

Neo People Management has successfully provided the trust with a managed payroll service, including HRIS functionality delivered via the iTrent platform, since April 2018. Neo were awarded a renewal of contract in January of 2021 until at least March 2024.

Once a renewal of service was agreed, the trust began a number of work programs to further extend the HRIS system functionality available across trust schools as a development of the managed payroll service delivered by Neo People Management.

"We are a large multi academy trust with over 2000 employees, operating across multiple regions. We work closely with the Neo People Management team to manage the complexities of our payroll and deliver the service to our employees."


The innovative deployment of the iTrent HRIS by Neo (a single instance of the SAAS platform being shared by all clients with advanced security creating walled gardens for each client), provides the trust with numerous benefits including:

  • Module extensions to the payroll service are available at a fraction of the cost of a comparable function on a stand-alone HRIS deployment.
  • HRIS services benefit from being served by the gold standard people, contract and absence information used by the integrated platform to provide the payroll service.
  • In addition, as the required workflows and functions were in many instances derivatives on the single SAAS instance of others deployed by Neo clients, the trust had confidence that developments were rooted in best practice, could be adapted to meet local requirements, and were provided at a much-reduced resource and development cost.

The trust is required to use the HR system to provide an authority and audit workflow across the trusts 28 schools for the changing of employee Hours and Basis contractual conditions. Without a suitable technology solution this required a complex and time-consuming paper trail to propose, approve and deploy.

Using core workflows deployed for other Neo People Management clients, a process was crafted that matched the trusts specific requirements.

This enabled managers to submit a requested change to the H.RIS, for that change to move to central HR officers for approval, then to a central finance officer and finally, should the change have been approved at all the check points, to cause the change letter to be issued to the employee with the new details automatically actioned on the payroll.

Similar workflows are deployed to support absence policy triggers, fixed term contracts ending and new starters.

Find out more