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Announcement from Trustees

posted Nov 4, 2016, 3:06 AM by Nicholas Basson   [ updated Nov 14, 2016, 3:54 AM by rmatheson@academiesenterprisetrust.org ]

Earlier this year Ian Comfort indicated to the Trustees that, having been with the Trust for four years (three as Group CEO), he wished to move on to other challenges. Ian has now informed us that he plans to leave in the spring term, giving the Board time to find a suitable successor.

Over the past three years, despite extensive scrutiny and external challenge, Ian has focussed on reforming the organisation and improving the outcomes for the 35,000 children in our schools. During his tenure as Group Chief Executive, the percentage of good or outstanding academies in our Trust has increased from less than 26% to 68%. In our primary schools, the number of good or outstanding academies has increased from 22% to 84%, with over 8000 more children now receiving a good education. Research published in July 2016, confirmed that the Trust was in the top 10% of academy trusts nationally for primary education and performing significantly above average in all areas.

The Trustees would like to place on record their thanks for his commitment over his four years with the Trust.

From our academies

"He has been a superb leader for the trust and has used his educational knowledge to move us forward - the results speak for themselves. He has been a fantastic role model for me and I'd like to thank him for all of his hard work for the staff, parents and children in the trust" John Szynal, Executive Principal, Maltings Academy, Essex.


"In the endlessly changing landscape that is education, true constants are a rare commodity. Ian has been just that during our journey as an AET Academy and his knowledge, guidance and counsel has successfully helped shape Newington in what have often been challenging circumstances. From the staff, parents and pupils here we would like to say "Thank you Ian." Steve Kernan, Head Teacher, Newington Academy, Humberside.


"Ian is well known and well respected amongst the staff in our schools and his departure is a loss to AET. He has brought tremendous balance to our work and, with a single focus on high standards and positive outcomes for the pupils we serve, has enabled schools and leaders to challenge themselves and others with innovative and creative approaches to learning and school improvement." David Worrall, Executive Principal, Trinity Primary Academy, Noel Park Primary Academy, London.


In 2003 the Headteacher author of 'When Reservoirs Run Dry' spoke of leaders in education as 'Striders, Strollers or Stumblers.' Ian has been the AET's Giant Strider!" Jon Gillard, Principal, Aylward Academy, London


"From the first day I joined AET, Ian made me feel like part of the AET family with a readiness to respond very personally with advice and actions. This has enabled our academy to grow and thrive into the sparkling school it is today. He will be hugely missed. I hope that his successor follows his strong lead in continuing to allow the unique and special relationships enjoyed by principals and AET which results in the happy and successful schools which AET are proud to call their own." Jo-Anne Charalambous, Head Teacher, Shafton Primary Academy. Barnsley


Ian has been very approachable and has welcomed direct contact with principals. His skills as a barrister have been invaluable to the Trust. " Karen Godsall, Principal, New Forest Academy, Hampshire.


"Ian Comfort has been a champion for all the learners in all AET academies. He has worked tirelessly to ensure every child has a place in a good school. His passion and support will be missed." Kate Holland, Principal, Charles Warren Academy, Milton Keynes.