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This is the best job I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a few. I’ve worked in education since 1979. I was driven to become a teacher because I genuinely wanted to improve the life chances of children experiencing significant hardship and challenge.

So, as I prepare to step aside I have some words of advice to the lucky person who takes my place as CEO of the Co-op Academies Trust.

Have our Headteachers’ backs and they’ll have yours

Having years of experience working in and around schools is a major benefit, but unless you’ve got the backing of our brilliant headteachers and principals, it’ll be an uphill struggle.

You should work closely with the Co-op

The Co-op is the largest business sponsor of an academy trust in the country. And because of that link, Co-op’s senior leaders invest a great deal into the Trust and rightly expect the highest standards. It’s vital that you not only get along with these volunteers from Co-op, but you fully embrace the Co-op’s ambition to build stronger communities in the UK.

To have the weight of one of the largest businesses in the country behind you is invigorating and exciting. What educator wouldn’t want to be able to lever resources out of a socially-minded and ethical organisation for the benefit of children?

Being able to articulate and live out the universal values of the co-operative movement should be top of mind for my successor too. If you don’t understand the values, can’t explain what they mean in reality and don’t live them in all you do then – this job won’t be right for you.

Be accountable and be open

Are you comfortable with the Chair of the Co-op Academies Trust Board sitting alongside you in an open office and are you willing to keep them in the loop?

It’s crucial to understand that you don’t have all of the answers to some of the key issues, but that you’re willing to seek advice and support and that you don’t see this as a weakness.

If you want to be part of a social justice movement that is improving life chances for young people in some of the most economically and socially challenged areas in the North, then apply for my job today.

If you believe you have the qualities, experience and personal skills to succeed – please apply by 15 November 2018.

I wish all candidates for the role the best of luck.

Frank Norris

Co-op Academies Trust CEO

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Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Co Op Acad – a ray of light for the kids in this selfish cruel UK


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