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Pontefract Academies Trust appoints new Chief Executive

Pontefract Academies Trust appoints new Chief Executive

Julian Appleyard has today been announced as the new Chief Executive of Pontefract Academies Trust; replacing Julie Craig in the Spring of 2018, who will be retiring after a 35-year career in education.

Mr Appleyard will take up the post leading the multi-academy trust that runs eight schools in Pontefract and is responsible for teaching nearly 4000 young people across the 5 to 16 age range.

Phil Jones, Chair of the Pontefract Academies Trust said; "We were keen to appoint someone of the highest calibre with a track record for improving student outcomes. Julian’s record in the education sector speaks for itself and we look forward working with him to deliver improved academic performance for all our students in Pontefract. The fact that Julian is a local man who knows the local context, knows the educational landscape and is well connected in the education world is positive news for all of our schools".

Julian Appleyard is currently Executive Principal of Rochdale Sixth Form College. Under his leadership, the College has emerged as one of the highest rated institutions of its type in the country and is well advanced in plans to be part of a multi-academy trust. Julian’s contribution to that success story has been widely recognised in the education profession. He is a National Leader of Education and was awarded the OBE for Services to Education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2016.

Commenting on his appointment, Julian Appleyard said; "It’s a great privilege to be appointed as the Pontefract Academies Trust CEO. I am excited to be given this fantastic opportunity to build upon the progress already made by the schools in the Trust. I look forward to working collaboratively with school leaders, staff, governors and trustees to ensure every student and young person gets an outstanding education in a Pontefract Academy Trust school. It was only a very special role that would tempt me to move away from Rochdale. CEO of Pontefract Academies Trust is just such a role."

Phil Jones added, "We are very pleased to have secured Julian to join our team. Our focus will be on ensuring a smooth transition. On behalf of the Trust, I pay tribute to Julie Craig, who has led the Trust since its formation. Julie will continue to lead the Trust into 2018 with the same passion, professionalism and dedication that have characterised her tenure as CEO."