Chief executive resigns from troubled schools trust

MBTC-18-10-13- Bedford Academy.'b13-922''Head teacher Claire Smith. ENGPNL00120131018134455
MBTC-18-10-13- Bedford Academy.'b13-922''Head teacher Claire Smith. ENGPNL00120131018134455

The leader of a schools trust which was looking to make the headteachers at three primary schools redundant has herself resigned.

Claire Smith has resigned as chief executive of HEART Academies Trust, which includes Cauldwell, Shackleton and Shortstown primary schools.

Last month the Times & Citizen reported that the trust was planning to make the heads of all three schools redundant, along with three deputy headteachetrs and seven assistant heads.

But instead Claire Smith has left her post, and will formally depart on November 26.

Claire Smith was previously headteacher at the Bedford Academy, which is the other school that is part of the trust.

The move comes eight days after chairman of the trust, Hanif Patel, announced his own resignation.

Claire Smith said: “My sole purpose throughout my time at Bedford Academy, and more latterly the HEART Academies Trust, has been to improve the education and life chances for all of our pupils.

“It is clear to me that this can now be better achieved if I stand aside and let someone else lead the trust.”

Emma Orr, currently senior academy improvement adviser, will lead the trust while a new chief executive is recruited.

Other additional interim support staff are also expected to be recruited.

Hanif Patel said: “The board of HEART Academies Trust are very sorry that Claire has decided to resign but fully understand her reasons for wanting to stand down.

“We want to thank her for her commitment, dedication and hard work over the past nine years at Bedford Academy and in the trust.

“We wish her all the best for the future.”


Hanif Patel’s resignation
Heart Academies Trust parents head to Parliament
Plans to make headteachers redundant put on hold
School bosses accused of “betrayal”
Parents’ response
Reasons for the proposed changes
Details of the proposed changes
What comes next?