Headteacher Claire Davies has been appointed as the new CEO of the Diocese of Worcester Multi-Academy Trust.

The trust provides a route to becoming an academy for any school across Worcestershire and Dudley wanting to join a trust with clear Christian values and vision.

There are currently eight primary schools in the trust with a number of others in the pipeline to join.

Ms Davies, headteacher at St Matthias CE Primary Academy in Malvern and executive headteacher of Elmley Castle CE First School, will take over from Interim CEO, Karen Surrall, who has been responsible for the initial set up of the trust, turning the diocesan vision into a robust reality.

Ms Davies will now look to grow and develop the offer for schools, ensuring that those who are part of the trust continue to be supported effectively and standards across the schools continue to improve.

She said: “Karen has done an amazing job in establishing the trust and I’m looking forward to working alongside her for my first few months as I start to build strong professional

relationships with each of the schools.

"From January, I will take on the role full time, co-ordinating the trust and building capacity within the trust to enable each of the schools to flourish. I am very excited about working with a group of extremely committed and dedicated headteachers, their staff teams and the local governing bodies of each academy.”

She added: “This post will be a new challenge for me and I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with schools from a different perspective. The Diocese has a strong commitment to create and sustain a family of academies working within a collaborative framework to achieve excellent outcomes for children. This is very reassuring for our headteachers who face many challenges in today’s educational landscape and I am pleased and excited to be part of such a worthwhile venture.”

Ms Davies joins the trust part time in September, gradually increasing her hours over the first three months.

The trust is still relatively new with the first schools joining last February.

She will help to develop the structures of the Trust, providing strategic leadership and direction as well as support for the schools involved. She will also work closely with the Diocesan Education Team to ensure that church schools within the Diocese of Worcester continue to be both challenged and supported at a time of significant change within the education landscape.