David Moran steps down as E-ACT chief executive

Moran to be succeeded by deputy after six years at the helm of one of England's biggest multi-academy trusts

Will Hazell

David Moran, who is stepping down as chief executive of the academy chain E-Act.

The chief executive of E-ACT – one of England's biggest multi-academy trusts – is to step down.

David Moran will be leaving the 29-school trust at the end of August 2019, after six years at the helm.

The E-ACT board said that Mr Moran was “planning to remain active in the world of education”, and that he would be setting up his own business working with charity and education boards. He also plans to write a series of books.

He will be replaced as CEO by Jane Millward, E-ACT’s current deputy CEO.

Michael Wemms, chair of E-ACT said: “David has given E-ACT six years of outstanding service, and I’ve always known that when he felt the time was right he would move on.

“He certainly leaves us in a markedly different state – E-ACT is radically transformed, and that is thanks to David’s leadership. His determination to give all of our pupils the opportunity to make the most of their talents is second to none.”

Mr Moran commented: “It has been an honour and privilege to work alongside so many E-ACT staff over the last six years, and I have learned so much on the way. 

"I am excited for E-ACT’s next stage and I know that Jane will lead everyone to think bigger, do the right thing and show team spirit. Working with a really fantastic board of trustees, a dynamic leadership team and our best-ever headteachers, she will lead the organisation to achieve great things.”

Ms Millward said: "I am hugely excited to have been appointed the new chief executive of E-ACT. Having been part of this wonderful organisation for over two years, I know just how privileged I am to be able to work so closely with such talented young people across the country.

"I also take this opportunity to pay tribute to a brilliant team of staff who are absolutely committed to contributing to the diverse communities that we serve.”

Mr Moran took over at E-ACT when it was in a tumultuous state, arriving as director of operations in March 2013, just months before the trust was criticised for a culture of "extravagant” expenses. He was promoted to acting CEO and then permanent CEO after the trust’s director general resigned.

The trust was given a financial notice to improve by the DfE in 2013, and in 2014 it was forced to hand back control of 10 of its academies.

However, in 2016 it was given permission to expand again. When Mr Moran joined the trust, 17 per cent of E-ACT’s academies were good or outstanding, compared with 70 per cent today.

But earlier this month, an E-ACT academy suspected of ‘off-rolling’ by Ofsted was warned by the Department for Education that it could have its funding agreement terminated.

Shenley Academy in Birmingham was put in special measures after Ofsted found that leaders removed eight Year 11 pupils on the same day in the autumn term of 2017, yet they “were not able to give a valid explanation as to why this happened”.

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Will Hazell

Will Hazell

Will Hazell is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @whazell

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