Former RSC joins academy trust as regional CEO

Former regional schools commissioner Martin Post has been appointed a regional chief executive for the Aspirations Academies Trust.

Post left his role as RSC for north west London and central England earlier this year after five years in the post. He was one of the original eight RSCs. 

It was announced today he will join AAT, which has 14 academies across southern England, as south coast region CEO in October. He is the latest RSC to rejoin the sector after leaving the government role.

Steve Kenning, co-founder and managing director of Aspirations Academies Trust says: “We are absolutely delighted to have Martin join our team. We have worked closely with him over the past five years as our trust has grown. 

“He will bring a great amount of experience and expertise to this new role and will help further Aspirations Academies Trust’s desire to provide an authentic education for the 21st century for all young people.”

It was reported earlier this year that AAT was seeking legal advice after Dorset Council urged the government to stop a school joining the trust because parents were “fearful” of its “tough love” approach.

AAT has also come under fire for its salaries. The Guardian reported in 2016 that Steve and Paula Kenning (his wife who is an executive principal) received more than £400,000 between them in 2014-15 alone. 

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  1. Mark Watson

    The key question as always in these situations is the potential for conflicts of interest.

    The article above says that AAT has “14 academies across southern England”. A quick look on GIAS shows that they have 15 academies – 5 in and around Bournemouth, 4 in and around Banbury, and 6 in London. The key point is that AAT operate academies in the area where Martin Post was the RSC.

    I don’t personally have a problem with RSCs coming from, or going back to, academy trusts. If an RSC wants to join an academy trust that they had no dealings with when they were the RSC then I have no issue. However, for the appearance of probity my instinct is that in situations like this it would be sensible for there to be an appropriate length of time between when the individual was RSC and when they join a MAT.

  2. Mark Watson

    The other point to be clear on is this reference to him being a “regional CEO”.

    I can’t seem to find any media release or statement from AAT, but it seems clear Martin Post is not being appointed as the CEO of AAT. A MAT can only have one CEO, and that is presumably still going to be Stephen Kenning.

    This is important as there are very specific duties, responsibilities and obligations which attach to the CEO.

    My guess is that Martin Post is going be be part of the Central Team at AAT and will essentially be internally responsible for the ‘Bournemouth hub’, with someone else being responsible for the ‘Banbury hub’ and someone else for the ‘London hub’, all of whom will report in to Stephen Kenning.

    These positions can be called anything – Hub Directors, Regional Executives, etc – but the one thing they’re most definitely NOT is CEOs.