You’ll be aware that Stuart Russell is retiring this autumn after a hugely successful and long tenure as Senior Director
of Kent and Medway Training. Over the past few months we have been reviewing the best way to replace Stuart and to
solidify the manner in which various entities within Leigh Academies Trust (LAT), focussed on professional training and
development, can work even more successfully together.
After detailed discussion with a range of stakeholders, we have decided that the following organisations should come
under a single point of leadership going forward so that we can maximise the benefits of collaboration and teamwork:
● Kent and Medway Training (KMT);
● Thames Gateway Teaching School Hub (TGTSH);
● Kent and Medway Maths Hub (KMMH); and
● LAT Apprenticeships.
There are a multitude of important reasons that we should forge even closer working protocols between these various
entities within LAT for the benefit of the wider sector and to provide extra career development opportunities for the
many talented staff that work within them. For that reason we are pleased to report that we have now appointed a
single leader to take overall responsibility for these four entities on behalf of the Trust from no later than September
In forging closer collaboration, we are keen to preserve the existing unique high quality characteristics of each
component part whilst delivering on the wider Trust vision of being “stronger than the sum of our parts”. For that
reason, we are in the process of creating “The Leigh Institute” which will contain each of the above from September.
Following interviews this week, I am pleased to report that Esther Cook (currently Director of TGTSH and KMMH, see
image below) has been appointed as its inaugural Director.
Esther will report to Will Monk as Academies Director. In turn each of the Heads of KMT, TGTSH, KMMH and LAT
Apprenticeships will report to her. The Heads of the latter two are already in place, but Stuart’s retirement and Esther’s
promotion mean that we now need to appoint new Heads of KMT and TGTSH, which we will do in the coming weeks.
I am sure you will want to join me in congratulating Esther on her appointment. This new way forward, which builds on
much of what we have been doing in recent years to provide professional training and development services for
teachers and support staff throughout the South East, is very exciting. We look forward to updating you on these
exciting plans later in the summer term.
With my best wishes,