Ambitions Academies Trust (AAT) continues to ‘grow its own leaders,’ appointing former St Aldhelm’s Academy principal, Sian Thomas as its new Chief Executive Officer. Sian was seconded to the role of interim CEO of the Trust in January 2017. A former Principal of AAT’s Tregonwell Academy which she led to an outstanding Ofsted judgement, she took over St Aldhelm’s in June 2015, steering it out of special measures to a Good Ofsted status.
Jon Webb, the former Vice Principal who worked alongside her to transform the Academy, has been leading the Academy in Herbert Avenue, Poole, in her absence and now steps up to become Principal. St Aldhelm’s has seen its numbers for this coming Year 7 September intake double, which is testament to the work that Jon has completed since taking the interim position in January.
Sian said: “I’m extremely honoured to take on the role of CEO and I’m equally proud to be part of an organisation which prides itself on growing and nurturing its own leaders. I have been part of Ambitions, formerly the Tregonwell Multi Academy Trust, for over 14 years; But there are literally dozens of staff who have entered the Trust as trainee teachers, newly qualified teachers, teaching assistants and even volunteers and have scaled the ranks.”
These include Matt Vernon, who joined us as a Year Leader and is now Vice Principal of Queen’s Park Academy; and Kirsty Wren who joined us a volunteer teaching assistant and now has her own Year 5 class at Queen’s Park. Also Lauren Dean and Gavin O’Connell, who both came to the Trust as teachers and are now the highly respected Principals of our King’s Park Academy and Longspee Academy.
Sherri Hawkins, now Business Director, joined Tregonwell when it was called Bicknell School and so too did Kathie Sweeney who is Deputy Vice Principal at Tregonwell. Both joined the organisation as teaching assistants.
Jamie Dighton first started teaching PE and lunchtime/after school activities at Ambitions’ Queen’s Park Academy (QPA) while working for AFC Bournemouth. With the encouragement of the school he became a Year 5 Teaching Assistant in September 2014, before becoming a trainee teacher through the Schools Direct programme with QPA and Winchester University. Jamie said: “I worked alongside my mentor at QPA to develop my teaching and in January 2015 I was approached to take sole control of a Year 5 class, still working with my mentor but having sole responsibility of the class. Next year I am teaching in Year 6 with the task of pushing children to do well in their SATs.”
Pat Marchiori the chair of trustees at AAT, said: “Sian Thomas knows AAT, its academies and its children inside out and her appointment as CEO is testament to the Trust’s belief in growing its own leaders. With her at the helm AAT, its children and staff have an even brighter future.”
AAT, formerly Tregonwell Multi-Academy Trust comprises six academies, a nursery provision and a Teaching School, over eight sites.
The Trust was appointed a Teaching School by the Department for Education in 2014. This enables it to train, nurture and develop its own teachers, as well as offering extensive support and successful teacher training to many other schools and academies in the area.