Ambition School Leadership and Institute for Teaching announce new appointments

Nov. 8, 2018

Ambition School Leadership and the Institute for Teaching are delighted to announce the appointment of two new team members.

Jennifer Barker will be joining the organisation as the new Dean of Learning Design whilst Tom Rees is the new Executive Director of School Leadership.

Jennifer has a strong track record in education. She completed a Fast track PGCE at Manchester University in 2003 and taught children from nursery age up to top year primary, for seven years. During this time, she worked as SENCo, Head of EY/KS1 and KS2, English Lead, Assessment Lead and Assistant Head. More recently Jennifer has been working at Teach First where she led the Design Team through the design of the new Leadership Development Programme, Post-Graduate Diploma in Education and contributed to a range of other Teach First programmes. 

Jennifer says…

“It is an incredibly exciting time to work in education, but we have a challenge on our hands; teaching and leading in schools is – whilst enormously rewarding – incredibly challenging and we are a long way from a shared understanding that we can put into practice to resolve this. The new organisation is clearly at the vanguard of developments to support teachers and leaders and has an incredible team of people already thinking hard about this challenge. To be a part of this team is a fantastic opportunity, one which I can’t wait to start.”  

The second appointment is Tom Rees, who will be joining the team as the new Executive Director of School Leadership. Tom is a former Advanced Skills teacher with nearly twenty years of school leadership under his belt. He is currently the Education Director of Northampton Primary Academy Trust, where he leads the strategy for school improvement and curriculum across eleven primary schools. Prior to this, Tom was a Headteacher for ten years. He is also a member of the Headteacher Board for his region, trustee of a local MAT and leads various collaborative school leadership groups in Northamptonshire. Tom is also a founder member of a charity supporting families affected by Down’s syndrome.

Tom says…

“The merger of Ambition School Leadership and the Institute for Teaching is hugely exciting for education in our country. It brings together a rich combination of experience, ideas, and expertise which will support a future generation of phenomenal school leaders and build important capacity in the system. It’s a real privilege to join this team and I look forward to working with leaders up and down the country to build more world class training and development opportunities for current and future school leaders.”

Tom and Jennifer are due to start in their new roles in early January, 2019.

Matt Hood, Chief Education Officer for Ambition School Leadership and the Institute for Teaching says…

“I’m really excited that Tom and Jen will be joining the team. With Marie Hamer heading up our teaching faculty, Tom heading up our school leadership faculty and Sir David Carter heading up our system leadership faculty we’ve got an opportunity to do some really exciting work right across educator career pathways. Getting the underpinning curriculum for these career pathways is critical. Having Jen join Peps in our Learning Design team is going to put rocket boosters under this work.”


Notes to Editors

Ambition School Leadership and the Institute for Teaching merged in September 2018 to become a new organisation dedicated to supporting teachers and school leaders to keep getting better.

For more information on this release please contact nicki.whiteman@ift.education