The woman at the top of a York multi-academy trust has announced her plan to retire later this year.
Jo Edwards, Trust Principal at South Bank Multi-Academy Trust, has written to colleagues across the Trust to announce her intention to retire at the end of August 2020.
Mrs Edwards has led the Trust since September 2018, following a 35-year career as a teacher, senior leader and education consultant.
Mrs Edwards said: “Since I was appointed in September 2018 as the Trust Principal for South Bank MAT, I have very much enjoyed my role. It has been rewarding to see how the Trust and its schools have grown and developed. Together we have enjoyed celebrating the successes of our pupils, staff and the communities we serve.
“In the wake of what is a dreadful pandemic, there is a new and exciting chapter about to start for the world of education and the Trust. I believe therefore, it is time for me to step aside to allow the MAT to plan for its long-term future – and for me to take things a little easier! It has been an honour and a pleasure to work with colleagues across the Trust and I wish South Bank MAT all the very best for the future.”
The Trust Board plan to appoint an interim Trust Principal pending a permanent appointment.
Chair of Trustees, Mr Edwin Thomas said: “I’m very proud of everything that Jo has achieved for the South Bank MAT, since she joined us as the first ever externally appointed MAT leader in York. From day one she has championed our vision of empowering schools to thrive and worked with passion and commitment to improve every child’s education. During her tenure, our schools have continued to deliver strong outcomes, working together under Jo’s leadership to create the best possible opportunities for all our pupils. We will miss Jo as both a leader and a colleague, but wish her the very best for her retirement.”
Mrs Edwards enjoyed a successful career across the Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire areas as a teacher, headteacher, principal and senior education advisor before taking up her role as Trust Principal. She has led four primary schools, a 3-18 learning community and a secondary academy. In every case she was recognised by Ofsted for her work in raising standards.
The York-based academy chain, which was established in 2016, now has six schools within the city, two secondaries, Millthorpe and York High School, three primaries, Scarcroft, Knavesmire and Woodthorpe, and Carr Junior School.
Trust Principal, Jo Edwards with children from the South Bank MAT schools celebrating their third birthday last year