Academies Enterprise Trust appoints new leader

Former regional schools commissioner will take over from Julian Drinkall at the multi-academy trust

Claudia Civinini

Rebecca Boomer-Clark will take over from Julian Drinkall as CEO of Academies Enterprise Trust

Academies Enterprise Trust has appointed a former regional schools commissioner as its new chief executive officer.

Rebecca Boomer-Clark, who is currently the national director of secondary education at Ark Schools, will take the helm at AET multi-academy trust after the half-term break in the summer term.

She will succeed Julian Drinkall, who is leaving AET to lead Aga Khan Schools, an international group of more than 200 schools.


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AET, which manages 58 schools, was subject to a turnaround plan in 2016, when Mr Drinkall was brought in to lead the trust after serious concerns were raised about its performance.

AET revealed last year that it had been on the brink of being broken up and that Mr Drinkall had to make “swingeing cuts initially” to help eliminate annual £8 million deficits.

Some of the cuts made by the trust have been controversial, and in 2019 AET faced a vote of no confidence from its staff, although this was later called off by unions.

New AET boss: 'A wonderful opportunity to have a system-wide impact'

According to the trust's latest accounts, it has paid out more than £2.3 million in redundancy and severance payments over the past two years.

Ms Boomer-Clark said: “I am extremely excited to be joining AET – as one of the largest trusts in the country that is truly inclusive, this is a wonderful opportunity to have a system-wide impact. The five-year strategy prescribes an approach to education that recognises a richer and more expansive ambition for children on a national scale. 

“AET has come a very long way over the last four years, and I’m clearly inheriting a strong platform from Julian Drinkall."

Ms Boomer-Clark was previously the regional schools commissioner for the South West. Her former roles also include a position as national education director at Oasis Community Learning.

When she attained a headship position at Oasis Academy John Williams, in Bristol, aged 31, she became the youngest secondary headteacher in the country, according to statement from AET.

At the end of last year, AET appointed a chief digital and information officer to lead a five-year development plan for virtual and blended learning.

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Claudia Civinini

Claudia Civinini

Find me on Twitter @claudiacivinini

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