14th April 2016

Brian Hooper to retire as chief executive of Ambitions Academies Trust

The chief executive of the Ambitions Academies Trust is set to retire in August.

Brian Hooper, whose career in education spans 22 years, will spend the coming months mentoring his replacement Phil Minns, the current assistant director of children’s services in Dorset and a former head teacher at Dorset schools for 14 years.

Mr Hooper has spent two years as the chief executive. Before that he was a head teacher for 18, working the last seven as a National Leader of Education.

He said: “I will be handing over this role to Phil in the full confidence that AAT is in a strong position, with our pupils across the trust enjoying increasing success.

“In particular I am glad to know that St Aldhelm’s Academy is on a clear journey to outstanding.

“Thanks to the superb work of all Ambitions’ dedicated staff, many of whom are unsung heroes, AAT has an exciting future.

“All AAT academies are rated as either outstanding, good, or are making good progress to outstanding. Furthermore, the trust has been rated as one of the best in the South West by the regional schools commissioner.”

The former executive head at the Bicknell School in Bournemouth added: “I will miss the children, whom I have seen flourish across the trust and I will also be sorry to leave the talented staff and teachers. But I am very much looking forward to working with Phil in the coming months to ensure a seamless handover and to supporting the continued development of education nationally.”

Mr Minns – a married father-of-four – is known for having guided Portesham CE Primary School out of special measures.

After a headship at Ferndown First School, he became head of Damers First School in Dorchester, which was rated an outstanding school in 2009.

He was awarded National Leader of Education status in 2013 and went on to become one of Her Majesty’s school inspectors, carrying out Ofsted inspections and supporting schools in special measures to improve.

“I feel very privileged to be the next CEO of Ambitions Academies Trust,” he said. “Brian Hooper has done a fantastic job and will certainly be a hard act to follow.

“I am very eager to join the strong team which is so committed to its pupils achieving their full potential.”

AAT’s chair of trustees, Pat Marchiori, said: “Brian’s contribution to the success of Ambitions and its academies has been immense and we are incredibly grateful to him for his vision, determination and hard work.”

Phil Pat Brian 4

L-R Brian Hooper, Phil Minns and Pat Marchiori

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