Academy chain brings in new chief executive

editorial image

An academy chain which controls 21 schools has replaced its chief executive.

Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) has announced the appointment of Chris Pickering as the new boss as it seeks to boost exam results this summer.

The trust said Mr Pickering, who previously ran the Diverse Academies Trust in the East Midlands, would take over from Mike Ramsay as WCAT chief executive officer (CEO) with immediate effect.

In a statement WCAT chairman John Hargreaves said: “He comes highly recommended with a wealth of experience and skills in a long and distinguished career in education.

“While progress has been made in many of our academies, the WCAT board recognises there needs to be a renewed focus on teaching and learning, which will benefit children across the trust.”

Mr Ramsay, who was previously WCAT chairman, took over as interim chief executive (iCEO) when the previous boss, Alan Yellup, left in 2016.

Mr Hargreaves said: “We would like to thank Mike for his considerable input into WCAT. He took over as interim CEO in March, 2016, at a difficult and challenging time for the trust.”

The trust previously confirmed that Mr Ramsay had been employed on a fixed-term basis until August 31 this year.

Mr Ramsay said: “I am pleased the trust has secured a qualified and experienced CEO who has a great deal of educational expertise that is required to rapidly improve further educational outcomes.

“The decision to bring the new CEO on board has my full support. To allow full integration I have decided to step down as iCEO. I wish the new CEO all the best.”

Schools run by WCAT include Wakefield, Hemsworth, and Mexborough academies, Bell Lane Academy in Ackworth and Freeston Academy in Normanton.