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‘Making changes that encourage women in the sector is hugely important’

Teachers who are new mothers should be able to bring their child to a nursery at their school and breastfeed during the working day, according to Libby Nicholas, one of the most high-profile female MAT bosses. Such policies, she tells Martin George, could help to bring more women into leadership

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When the government prioritised education standards as part of its vision for a “Northern Powerhouse”, it turned to four established academy trusts, and one new contender: Reach4.

The organisation was set up as a spin-off of Reach2, the largest primary-only academy trust in England, and earlier this year, it signalled its independence by renaming itself Astrea Academy Trust.

Now, government ministers have once again asked the trust, under chief executive Libby Nicholas, to help solve a problem – this time, the fallout from the collapse of Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT).

Astrea is due ...

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