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Laidlaw Schools Trust, which runs seven academies across the region, is delighted to welcome newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Ian Simpson.

Mr Simpson was previously Executive Principal at Oasis Community Learning working across several Academies across both the North as well as London and the South East regions, and is an experienced school leader with a track record of transforming schools.

Mr Simpson’s ambition is to ensure that all the academies are rated good or better as quickly as possible. He said “I passionately believe that all children regardless of their social and economic background deserve a first class education. This has been my driving force each and every day in every school that I have worked in. I look forward to working with the whole LST community to ensure that all our pupils aspire and achieve,” he says.

Starting as a PE and Geography teacher in Yorkshire, Mr Simpson steadily rose through the ranks of Head of PE, Head of Key Stage 3, Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher, Principal and Executive Principal at Oasis Community Learning, one of the UK’s largest trusts. He is known for transformational leadership, having played a key role in several rapid turnarounds, guiding schools out of special measures by promoting cultures of aspiration and raising standards. Most notably, Mr Simpson led Oasis Academy Lister Park to its first ever ‘Good’ judgement from Ofsted, in its 20 year history, in under two years as Principal.

Another key ambition for Mr Simpson is improving pupil wellbeing, and encouraging students and staff to be active and look after their physical and mental health. He is a passionate Rugby League fan, having played professionally at London, Huddersfield and Hunslet, and the sport remains a big part of his life.

Chair of Laidlaw Schools Trust, Susanna Kempe, “Our pupils, parents and carers, teachers, staff and the wider communities we serve, deserve a leader who is totally committed to delivering inspirational education. In Ian they have just that – along with the rich experience and incredible knowledge to make it happen.”

Mr Simpson is committed to ensuring that through outstanding education and opportunity any child, from any background and circumstance can progress to the best University, apprenticeship or profession, saying ‘I also want all staff to enjoy their work and be driven to make a real difference to the children and the communities we serve, and for LST to become the employer of choice in the region, so that we have the best people supporting, teaching, and driving positive change in our schools.

‘Once some of these initial aims are achieved, I’d then like to see the Trust grow in number and have a stronger influence on securing and establishing high expectations and outstanding practice in the North East that is then nationally and internationally acclaimed and recognised by other Trusts and educationalists.’