The joint founder of a leading free school has joined one of the country’s biggest academy trusts on secondment as national director of transformation.
Ed Vainker, chief executive of the Reach Foundation which runs Reach Feltham, has joined Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) in a part-time role until the end of this academic year.
Vainker, also a trustee of the Confederation of School Trusts, will “add capacity to our executive team so that we are able to both improve our support for schools and teachers in the short term, whilst developing OAT’s longer term strategy,” the trust said in a statement.
Natasha Rancins has also been appointed national director of secondary education at the trust, a new role focused on creating a school improvement strategy to deliver “an ambitious and transformative education” for the 32,000 pupils in the trust’s 32 secondaries.
Rancins has been at OAT since 2022 as the trust’s education director for the west.
Tom Rees, who joined the 42-school trust as chief executive in September, said the team is “excited” by the appointments.
On Vainker, he added: “As one of our school system’s most talented leaders, I’m delighted he has agreed to work with us to build on our core mission to provide great teaching, every day, for every child.
“OAT has many strengths but none of us here are complacent and there is so much potential across the trust for us to achieve even more together in service of children. I am looking forward to Natasha and Ed working with our great teachers and leaders to help us fulfil that.”
Reach Academy Feltham is highly-regarded and runs a ‘Cradle to Career’ model that combines the school with a Reach Children’s Hub to “provide an integrated pipeline of support for children and families”.
Vainker added: “The importance of the work that OAT does, including in some of the most disadvantaged parts of the country, cannot be under-stated.
“Nothing is more critical than providing the best educational opportunities for children and young people so that they have the best start in life, and I hope I can be helpful in supporting the team to continue to provide this.”
Ormiston is also recruiting for a new national director of learning.
By school number, the trust is the country’s ninth largest.