Woodard Academies Trust appoints Mike Pettifer as Chief Executive Officer

Posted on: 25th Apr 2022

Mike Pettifer Photo copyWoodard Academies Trust is pleased to announce that, following an open recruitment process, Mike Pettifer will be the Trust’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from 1 August 2022.

Tricia Pritchard, Chair of the Trust, said: "I am really pleased that Mike Pettifer will be joining the Trust as CEO.  He has worked in education for over 30 years and brings a breadth of experience with him from teaching in a college through to operating at the highest levels of government.

His last twelve years have been focused on school and academy finance, governance, financial health and efficiency. He stepped in to support the response to the pandemic and wants to bring all of that experience and expertise to benefit the Trust and the sector. 

He impressed us with his strategic leadership skills, track-record of delivering high standards of performance, and commitment to raising outcomes for pupils.  He is the ideal person to lead the Trust’s next phase of improvement.”

Mike Pettifer, CEO Designate, said: "I am delighted and honoured to join the Trust and very much looking forward to working with everyone on the next stage of the journey. Hardip has done a brilliant job and I will give my all to do the same."

Mike Pettifer will take up the CEO post on 1 August 2022 when the current CEO, Hardip Begol, steps down from that role and provides a short handover.  

Mike Pettifer - Biography

Mike Pettifer has spent his career in education, including nine years as the senior civil servant at the Education and Skills Funding Agency responsible for delivering funding to schools, ensuring the financial health and accountability of the school and academy sector, and maintaining high standards of financial probity.  He led over 500 staff and was responsible for allocating over £40bn per annum.  Since July 2020, he has been Director of the Department for Education Covid Response Unit, working and planning across all education and care sectors.

Earlier in his career, Mike spent a decade at the Learning and Skills Councils, working locally on the planning and funding of Further Education, promoting the delivery of apprenticeships, and funding adult and community learning to improve outcomes for young people and adults in their local area.

The transformative power of education is of real importance to Mike who benefitted from it himself and is committed to making sure as many children and young people as possible can do the same. He started his career as an English and ESOL teacher at the City of Westminster College spending five years delivering programmes to support refugees learning English and finding work placements. He also did a lot of work with young people on apprenticeship programmes and has carried the experience of those early years with him throughout his career.  

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