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Message from the CEO


I am privileged to be appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of SHINE Academies, replacing our founding CEO Gill Morris, who started her well-earned retirement in August 2022. Having been part of the SHINE journey since its inception in January 2015, I am incredibly proud of the progress that has been made by all of our pupils, staff and stakeholders over the years.

Children only get one chance for their primary education. Whilst we all understand the importance of the core subjects, our pupils are much more than a numerical outcome. We strongly believe that all pupils should have an opportunity to find their niche and reach their potential in all areas. This is supported by a steadfast commitment to the arts and sport, as well as opportunities for exploring cultural capital making our pupils exceptional citizens. We have high expectations of our pupils, working to Strive in Harmony to Inspire, Nurture and Excel as per our name, that was chosen in 2018 following a wide consultation with stakeholders.

I am proud that our schools are recognised as inclusive environments for our pupils, and we pride ourselves on having skilled practitioners to support our diverse communities. Our family support team has broad expertise and the capacity to support our pupils and their families in many areas beyond the classroom, including mental health, bereavement and housing support.  We offer a range of opportunities to our pupils, creating a high-quality educational experience, in a safe, creative and exciting learning environment.

We recruit highly talented individuals for our schools, which are led by exceptionally talented Headteachers and their teams who demonstrate a dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to their local community. We recognise talent and develop our staff to be the very best they can be through an intense internal and external CPD programme of support. Our staff and leaders refer to being part of a family.

I am proud that our schools maintain their own identity and characteristics, whilst joining a MAT that supports the strategy and school improvement journey, alongside the business elements of running an educational establishment, such as finance and HR. SHINE Academies has a mission to grow with likeminded schools joining our Trust, and whilst we have the capacity to support schools that need additional support in key areas, we are small enough to listen and work alongside our Headteachers to ensure support is tailored for their needs. All of our leaders recognise the need to evolve and take mitigated risks in order to ensure our pupils are ready for the challenges of secondary school and beyond.

Strong and robust governance is key to a successful MAT and I am lucky to work with some exceptional individuals who volunteer on our Member, Trust and Local Governing Boards. Each governance function aids the MAT delivery of its strategic objectives and ensures accountability of my role and that of other executive leaders within the MAT.


Gemma Draycott

Chief Executive Officer

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