Chris Tweedale: CEO

I would like to make you aware that Peter is going to step down from his position as CEO from the end of the academic year. He is looking to broaden the focus of his work to support the development of a number of trusts. He will also be taking a leading role to manage a significant project, involving the university, which he will tell you about in due course.

The trustees are hugely grateful to Peter for his hard work and skill in taking the GEP to a position of considerable opportunity. He has got to grips with a number of deeply entrenched issues and has shown himself to be both determined and courageous. Peter’s ability to diagnose systemic issues is hugely impressive and we have no doubt that his skills will be highly sought after, as school groups around the country try to work out how to develop their effectiveness.

In his five years with us, Peter has worked tirelessly for the trust and he has made a significant contribution to many aspects of its development. He is admired and respected by staff, governors and trustees alike. We would like to thank Peter sincerely for all his work at the trust and we wish him every success on the next stage of his journey. We will organise a suitable event to mark his departure as CEO, in the early part of next term.

Peter has asked that I pass on his sincere gratitude to colleagues and to inform you that he will be writing to you separately to say farewell.

In working out how to fill the huge gap left by Peter’s departure, the board felt that it wanted someone with considerable experience of building academy trusts to help us at this stage on our journey and has appointed Chris Tweedale as interim CEO while we review the situation, take soundings and plan next steps. Chris has most recently been the CEO and accounting officer of two different multi academy trusts. At Aldridge Education he led on the integration of single academy trusts into the MAT and at CfBT his focus was more on setting up school improvement systems and structures in a national MAT with a wide geographical spread. At the Welsh Government Chris was the senior civil servant responsible for school improvement, qualifications, governance, teacher training and CPD. While at the DfE, he was first an education adviser on school improvement and school workforce matters, after which he worked on school general and vocational qualification policy development.  Before taking on these national level roles, Chris was a secondary headteacher for 8 years and taught in a number of schools in five different local authorities including being Head of Sixth Form at Therfield School in Surrey in the late 1980’s.

Chris writes: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the CEO of Guildford Education Partnership.  I have been impressed by what I have read and the vision for the future of GEP as discussed with the trustees.  I now look forward to meeting the headteachers and chair of governors of each of the seven schools in the trust, to listen to your views and help in bringing together a shared development strategy that resonates for all the staff and governors and for the benefit of all the children, pupils and young people in our care.”

Chris takes up the position on 1st September but we are hoping that he may be able to meet a number of people before that date.

Fergal Roche

Chair, GEP Academies Trust