Ormiston Academies Trust welcome new CEO, Tom Rees

  7 September, 2023

Tom Rees CEO

We are pleased to welcome our new chief executive officer, Tom Rees, after a national recruitment process. Tom has succeeded Nick Hudson, who retired at the end of August.

Tom has 25 years’ experience in education, working across a range of roles including 10 years as a headteacher and seven years in executive roles. Before joining OAT he held the position of executive director of programmes at the national education charity, Ambition Institute, where he led professional development programmes for more than 54,000 teachers and school leaders, through national delivery of the Early Career Framework and National Professional Qualifications, as well as Ambition’s own specialist programmes. He has also been a leading light in the national reform agenda around teacher professional development, contributing to several official policy forums.

Before Ambition, Tom was the education director of Northampton Primary Academy Trust (NPAT). He joined NPAT as a headteacher and later, as education director he held responsibility for educational strategy and school improvement across primary schools and special unit settings, supporting the trust’s growth from six to 14 schools and developing a successful educational model with a strong track record of improvement.

Tom has also served as a member of a regional headteacher board, he was a member of the Department for Education’s Headteacher Standards Review Group, he has been a commissioner on the NAHT’s School Improvement Commission, and was recently appointed to the panel of CST’s inquiry into trust improvement.

In his new role at OAT, Tom will be working with senior leaders and colleagues across the trust to build on the outstanding leadership and positive outcomes delivered by Nick Hudson over the seven years he had been with the organisation, helping to maintain the trust’s deeply-held purpose of providing excellent learning opportunities to its 33,000+ pupils both inside and outside the classroom.

Tom Rees said: “I am really excited to be joining Ormiston Academies Trust: an organisation with history, values and at its core, a focus on the power of education and family to transform lives. I am looking forward to working with staff across the trust and to serving the children and families of Ormiston’s schools.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved at Ambition over these last four years, and grateful for the opportunity to work in a different part of the education system and to learn from this experience. Professional development is at the heart of a system where teachers and leaders keep getting better, and where every child gets a chance to thrive.

“I’m looking forward to taking this experience back into a school trust and I’m excited about getting to work at Ormiston ahead of the new academic year.”

Julius Weinberg, the chair of Ormiston Academies Trust, said: “While we are very sad that Nick decided to leave the trust to retire, I am confident that we have made a great appointment in Tom. We had an extremely strong field and Tom was the stand-out candidate. He has made an enormously positive contribution to the sector in 25 years in education and I am excited about the impact he will have on our 42 schools and the 33,000 children and young people we serve, and their families. Thanks to Nick’s work, and that of his colleagues, OAT is very strongly positioned to move forward under Tom’s leadership, and I would once again like to put on record my sincere thanks to Nick for all he has done for OAT.”

Hilary Spencer, the chief executive of Ambition Institute, said: “Tom has made a huge contribution to the development of Ambition Institute over his four years here. Under his leadership, our programmes have helped tens of thousands of teachers and school leaders to keep getting better.

“We are of course sad to see him leaving Ambition, but we are delighted for him, and offer him our warmest congratulations on being appointed to his new role. All of us at Ambition look forward to seeing the impact Tom will have at Ormiston Academies Trust, continuing to work towards a vision that we all share: that every child has the opportunity to succeed, no matter what their background.”

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