Respected educationalist Dr Tim Coulson is to become the new chief executive of Samuel Ward Academy Trust.
Leaders at the West-Suffolk based multi-academy trust hailed the appointment while Dr Coulson, who will leave his position as Regional Schools Commissioner for East of England and North-East London, also spoke of his excitement over the new role.
Dr Coulson, who will be taking over from Howard Lay in the summer, said: “I am delighted to be taking up the position as new chief executive of the Samuel Ward Academy Trust.
“I feel the trust is a model of what a multi-academy trust should be and will be in the future.
“I was attracted to the fact that the trust is based around four towns in close geographical proximity and has those communities at its heart.
“It is also very important for individual primary, secondary and special schools to retain their identity and this is something I want to foster and enhance.
“Howard is clearly an impressive leader and a driving force for the trust and I am looking forward to continuing his excellent work and working with all the schools to provide the very best education we can for the children and young people we serve.
“I am very proud to have been one of the founder Regional School Commissioners. I had three excellent years and I loved every minute of it.”
The Samuel Ward Academy Trust has 15 schools in the Haverhill, Newmarket, Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds areas and is responsible for teaching around 8,000 young people.
Jon Ward, acting chair of the trust, said: “We are incredibly excited to have been able to appoint Dr Tim Coulson to the role of CEO for the Samuel Ward Academy Trust.
“We look forward to working with Dr Coulson to support him in providing visionary leadership for the trust, our schools and our communities and to ensure we continue to seek improved academic performance for all as well as strengthened leadership and financial sustainability in these challenging times.”
Mr Lay, who is due to remain at the trust in a part time role as Director of Quality Assurance, said: “As a trust, we are delighted to have attracted such a highly regarded senior educationalist.
“It is positive news for all our schools and students as well as across the whole of Suffolk.
“Tim will bring strong strategic direction to the Trust and help drive our innovative and forward-thinking approach to local education.”
Earlier this month, Samuel Ward Academy Trust was awarded £200,000 to become the first official Research School in the East of England and one of only 11 across the country.