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Flying High Trust CEO awarded OBE for services to education

Posted onPosted on 13th Jan

The chief executive officer of a Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire multi-academy education trust has received the Order of the British Empire for services to education.

Chris Wheatley has 25 years’ experience in education, eight as CEO of the Flying High Trust, which he founded in 2012 at Cotgrave Candleby Lane School.

The primary multi-academy trust now has 26 member schools throughout Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, including some in Mansfield and Ashfield.

During his leadership, the Flying High Trust has been the recipient of many accolades, including being recognised as one of the top five performing trusts nationally for multi-academy trusts of more than 10 schools, and top three nationally for progress in reading and writing of disadvantaged children.

Of the 26 schools within the Flying High Trust, all have improved on their Ofsted ratings since joining, with all 26 now rated good or better by Ofsted.

Chris, a previous winner of Head Teacher of the Year Award, said: “I am excited at the news but also want to say I think this is recognition of what the trust has achieved as a whole, not just me. This is for all of the staff and children too.

“We mark our success as the children achieving their dreams. I want to support our children to realise their ambition and to be a success and to make a positive contribution to society. We also view success as breaking down any social barriers which might impede opportunity. Wherever you are born, we will strive to enable the equality of opportunity for all of our children.”

Chris said that his upbringing in Middlesbrough prompted his dream of working in education. “I remember listening to ‘The Headmasters Ritual’ by The Smiths at 13 and deciding that education should be very different! I also witnessed the imbalance of opportunity, of the aspiration in young people being dependant on their backgrounds. I knew I wanted young people to succeed regardless of their background and that still drives me.”

The Flying High Partnership has member primary academies all over Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire including Alderman Pounder Infant & Nursery School (Nottingham), Beeston Fields Primary and Nursery School, Bilsthorpe Flying High Academy, Brooklands Primary School (Long Eaton), Cotgrave Candleby Lane (Cotgrave), Edwalton Primary School, Ernehale Junior School (Arnold), Ernehale Infant School (Arnold), The Flying High Academy (Ladybrook Mansfield), Greenwood Primary & Nursery School (Kirkby in Ashfield), Greythorn Primary School (West Bridgford, ), Haddon Primary School (Carlton), Hillside Primary and Nursery School (Hucknall), Horsendale Primary School (Nuthall), Hucknall Flying High Academy, Killisick Junior School (Arnold), Kirkstead Junior Academy (Pinxton), Leamington Primary School (Sutton in Ashfield), Mapplewells Primary & Nursery School (Sutton in Ashfield), Peafield Lane Academy (Mansfield Woodhouse), Pinxton Village Schools: John King Infant Academy and Longwood Infant Academy, Porchester Junior School (Carlton), Stanstead Nursery and Primary School (Rise Park, Nottingham), and The Green Infant School (South Normanton, Alfreton).