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Pioneer Academies Community Trust

Children are at the centre of everything we do and everything we do, is about improving their life chances

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Pioneer Academies Community Trust

Children are at the centre of everything we do and everything we do, is about improving their life chances

Welcome from the CEO

Welcome from the CEO, Mr Harry Wood


Dear colleagues


Those who may already know me will be aware that I am not the kind of person who likes to go on about the work I have undertaken during my career. This is not false modesty – just a very long CV. If you are reading this, it is probably because you want to find out more about our trust and a little something about the CEO. A short pen portrait cannot fully answer all the questions you may have so please feel free to contact me if you want to discuss anything further.


I have worked as a teacher since 1981, so yes, that does make me one of the experienced older leaders. During my time in education I have had the opportunity to work with many professionals; some of whom have had a major influence in my approach to supporting children’s learning. I have also worked with many families and sharing in some of their joys and hardships has shaped me as a person. With over 40 years in the profession, I have experienced the highs and lows of being a teacher and a leader. I’ve seen many new approaches introduced as well as some old ones come back in again. I am still in the job because I love what I do and whilst ever I can be effective I will continue to work hard, along with my team, to provide the best provision across our settings.


My success as a teacher gives me a better understanding as a CEO of what it is like to be in the classroom. It helps me appreciate what our staff do to help children learn. The demands on professionals today far exceed what I had to achieve as an NQT in the early 80’s. My approach as a leader is to support staff through developmental coaching. It is easy to judge and grade but that is not what we should be about. If we are to encourage people to become teachers and retain them in the future, we need to support them with developing their skills and managing their workload.


As a head teacher I have had many successes; achieving good and outstanding Ofsted results, receiving leadership awards and supporting staff to progress in their careers. I have led primary and secondary settings and taken three schools out of special measures. My most important achievements have been with children and families supporting them through difficulties and helping them through life’s challenges. As you would expect I still bump into ex-pupils who are now parents, and we talk about the work we have done together; memorable lessons, cup finals, plays and community work. I remain grounded as I also know what it is like to face difficult moments and feel vulnerable as a leader, losing sleep and working excessive hours. Effective mentoring and a focus on mental health and wellbeing strategies are key actions to help everyone through challenging times.


I have also worked as an independent consultant supporting local authorities and trusts across the country. I have seen and shared many professional ideas and I am lucky to have a wide network of colleagues to call on when I need advice or help.


I am, therefore, a strong advocate of professional networks. Mutual support, the sharing of ideas and workload are important necessities as we strive to succeed. Being a head teacher can feel lonely at times. Throughout my career I have made many friends whilst working across families and clusters of schools. I have received the support of local authority officers and other professional networks. All of which have helped me to be a better teacher and leader. Here at PACT, we believe in collaborative autonomy. Our schools retain their individuality and control whilst receiving the support from each other; learning and developing together.


Our aim is to work alongside like-minded colleagues to support their communities. To this end, we are happy to work together without the pressure to join us. If you would like to learn more about our trust and why we are different to some other multi-academy trusts please feel free to speak to one of our head teachers or pay us a visit. Alternatively, phone and make an appointment to see me, I’d be more than happy to chat.