Matt Hood to leave Ambition Institute role

Matt Hood, chief education officer at the Ambition Institute, has announced he will leave the organisation at the end of this year.

Hood founded the organisation’s predecessor – the Institute of Teaching – in 2014, before overseeing the merger with Ambition School Leadership in 2018.

Having led Ambition’s new strategy, programme suite and brand, he now plans on taking an extended honeymoon with husband Josh MacAlister, who is chief executive of Frontline.

Hood said: “I have said many times that I believe England’s education system has the potential to be the best in the world – where every child, no matter what their background, gets a great education.

“But to get there we have to become the best place in the world to be a teacher. Making that a reality alongside our partners in schools, universities and government is what we have been working on at Ambition Institute. But there is more to do.”

I believe England’s education system has the potential to be the best in the world .. but we have to become the best place in the world to be a teacher

Hood’s brief will be led by Marie Hamer, executive director of learning design and teaching, and Tom Rees, executive director of school leadership.

The move comes at a time of change for the organisation. Schools Week revealed in August that Hilary Spencer, a former aide to Michael Gove and long-serving Department for Education civil servant, was appointed chief executive.

One of her key tasks will be making the organisation less reliant on DfE contracts. According to annual accounts published in June, government contracts made up 72 per cent of the charity’s income in 2017-18, which was described as a “challenging year financially”.

Total income fell by 13 per cent and Ambition posted a £800,000 deficit, compared with a £300,000 surplus in the previous year.

Schools Week revealed last month how other CPD providers have also posted losses as schools tightened their belts in the face of budget restraints.

Ambition bills itself as a “graduate school” supporting the development of school leaders and teachers. Its programmes will reach more then 6,000 educators each year, from new teachers to academy trust chief executives.

On Hood’s departure, Rebecca Boomer-Clark, chair of trustees at Ambition, added: “It’s not an overstatement to say that Ambition Institute simply wouldn’t be here without Matt. He has been instrumental in shaping the sector’s debate about what expertise in teaching, school and system leadership looks like, initially as founder of the Institute for Teaching and for the last year in his role at Ambition.

“He really will be missed, but the whole team wishes him all the best in his next steps.”