Exclusive: Major Mat appoints new blended learning exec

The new role at AET will be taken up in February by edtech expert James Browning
22nd December 2020, 4:27pm
Claudia Civinini

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Exclusive: Major Mat appoints new blended learning exec

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/exclusive-major-mat-appoints-new-blended-learning-exec
James Browning Aet

In a year where edtech and remote learning have taken centre stage, a multi-academy trust has appointed a chief digital and information officer.

Academies Enterprise Trust, which oversees 58 academies, has created the role to lead a five-year development plan for virtual and blended learning. 

It is thought to be a first for the sector.


Related: Major MAT was 'on brink of being broken up'

Coronavirus: MAT invests £2m in tech for poorer pupils

Training: 'Urgent' call to train teachers in 'digital learning'


James Browning, who is currently head of schools software at global IT firm RM, will take up the role in February.

AET chief executive Julian Drinkall said: "Whilst the pandemic has been extremely challenging for everyone in the schools' sector, AET's track record in edtech positioned us well in terms of being ready to educate children at home.

"Even prior to lockdown in March this year, AET was the single largest user of Google Classroom, and we acted quickly to ensure that any child that needed access to a device and wifi had it. 

"We are introducing a whole range of innovative new approaches, including new models of education including running masterclasses from one school with a specialist teacher, but making these available in real time to students rights across our family of schools."

Mr Browning's role will develop greater insight into the schools' performance and the data and achievements of individual pupils; manage data and metrics in a range of areas including student destinations, psychometrics and welfare.

He said: "The very creation of this role and the huge investments recently made give a great indication of the intent and already strong position that AET holds regarding EdTech and I'm bursting with ideas for how we can go on to achieve great things and become truly world-class."

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