Schools trust chief executive to retire

Lynn Atkinson is retiring in April

Lynn Atkinson is retiring in April - Credit: Learning Academy Partnership

The Learning Academy Partnership has announced chief executive Lynn Atkinson will retire this spring term, with the trust’s director of education appointed to take over her responsibilities.

Mrs Atkinson will step down in April after ten years of service to the trust and its ten academies across Torbay and the wider South West.

It has also been announced that Tracey Cleverly, currently director of education at the Learning Academy Partnership, has been appointed as Mrs Atkinson’s successor.

This year marks 40 years of Lynn Atkinson’s career in education and her tenth year as chief executive officer for the Learning Academy Partnership.

In 2011, Mrs Atkinson founded the trust, while working as headteacher at Ilsham Church of England Primary school, and subsequently became its first CEO.

During her time leading the trust, Mrs Atkinson has been committed to ensuring that the most disadvantaged have a great education and this is reflected in years of outstanding achievements.

The 2019 MAT league tables show that the trust has the highest attainment for disadvantaged pupils.

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In 2018 and 2019 league tables, the trust has also been in the top ten performing MATS for progress in both reading and maths.

As a National Leader of Education, Mrs Atkinson has an impressive track record of supporting heads and schools, not just within the trust but across the South West and has significantly impacted the quality of education in many institutions.

Tracey Cleverly, the newly appointed chief executive

Tracey Cleverly, the newly appointed chief executive - Credit: Learning Academy Partnership

The new chief executive of the Learning Academy Partnership will be Tracey Cleverly, the current director of education. 

Miss Cleverly has been in this role since 2016, and has been a member of staff within the trust since it was founded in 2011.

Miss Cleverly has a rich history working in education and has previous local authority experience before her time at the Learning Academy Partnership.

Over the years, she has been deputy head at Ellacombe C of E Academy, supporting Mrs Atkinson in bringing the school out of special measures.

Since then, they have worked closely to make great strides for the children the trust educates, and Miss Cleverly has been instrumental in the success of the Learning Academy Partnership.

 Emma Bone

Emma Bone will become director of education - Credit: Learning Academy Partnership

Finally, in order to fill the role of director of education, the Learning Academy Partnership have appointed Emma Bone, who is currently the trust’s executive lead for school improvement. 

Mrs Bone has worked within the trust for nine years, has been headteacher at many of the trust’s schools, and works within the executive team.

The Learning Academy Partnership provides a first-class education to its pupils across the South West, and has done so since it was founded ten years ago.

The trust is rated the best academy trust in the country for the performance of disadvantaged children and in the top ten trusts nationally for the progress that children make.

Tracey Cleverly said: "Mrs Atkinson’s contributions to the trust have been unmatched and after so many years of dedicated service and commitment to growing the Learning Academy Partnership into the successful trust it is.

"So many of my most special and treasured memories of teaching are intertwined with my work alongside Lynn and I would like to thank her for being such an excellent mentor. 

"I would like to wish Lynn the absolute best and a very happy retirement when she steps down in April.

“I am honoured to have been chosen to take over as chief executive of the Learning Academy Partnership. 

"I hope to help ensure the trust continues to reach new heights and achieves exceptional outcomes for our pupils, staff and local communities, building on the firm foundations Lynn has put in place to continue to provide transformational opportunities for children and staff alike.”

Lynn Atkinson said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to have led the Learning Academy Partnership over the last decade. 

"The colleagues, pupils and parents I have worked with during this time have been inspiring and have made my job so very rewarding and enjoyable. 

"I am so proud to have been a part of building a trust that is truly passionate about transforming life chances for children and removing all barriers to learning.

“I wish Tracey all the best in her role - she is a brilliant school leader and I have every confidence that she will ensure the Learning Academy Partnership continues to go from strength to strength; building on the trust’s vision of developing a growing family of exceptional schools that truly put children first.”

Richard Vaughton, chair of trustees, said: “I know I speak for everyone when I thank Lynn for all she has done over the years to grow and nurture the Learning Academy Partnership and its academies. 

"Her vision and drive have provided high-quality education for thousands of young people in the last ten years, which is completely unmatched and invaluable.

"We wish her the very best for a happy retirement when she steps down in April and would like to personally thank her for her dedication and service.

“We are so pleased to have appointed Tracey as our new leader and look forward to the next chapter in our trust’s story, which we are sure will see the trust continue to reach new heights and achieve exceptional outcomes for our students, staff and local communities.”