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Ambitious Academy Trust Leader Takes on New Responsibility for Teaching & Learning of 30,000 students in Yorkshire

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The White Rose Academies Trust is proud to announce that Mr Andrew Whitaker has been promoted to a new role as Deputy CEO – Teaching and Learning, Luminate Education Group and CEO of the White Rose Academies Trust.

In this expanded senior leadership role, in addition to the role of CEO of the White Rose Academies Trust, Andrew will provide strategic direction for Teaching and Learning across the Luminate Education Group, one of the largest education groups in Yorkshire.

As a leading voice in education, training and community transformation, the Luminate Education Group is responsible for supporting and developing a community of over 30,000 students across the region. It brings together education and training providers across a wide spectrum of levels, which includes Harrogate College, Keighley College, Leeds Conservatoire, Leeds City College and the White Rose Academies Trust.

Andrew will build on his two decades of experience as a senior leader in UK universities and schools. His achievements include transforming Todmorden High School from the bottom 5% to the top 15% of performing schools nationally, gaining national recognition in the 2015-16 Parliamentary Review for Secondary Education, and being awarded a prestigious lifetime Fellowship award from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Since joining the White Rose Academies Trust in September 2016, Andrew has helped to turn the Trust’s three secondary academies from ‘Special Measures’ into ‘Good’ schools, welcomed the Trust’s first primary school (Mill Field Primary Academy), and formulated a partnership with education consultancy High Performance Learning to bring a world class level of education to Leeds.


On his new expanded role, Andrew commented:

“I’m extremely excited about taking on this new challenge at a group level. There are so many amazing teachers and staff across the group who all contribute to creating excellent teaching and learning experiences. In this new role I want to help them tackle any barriers that stop them from doing what they do best and to enable them to keep growing and developing.”

Colin Booth OBE, CEO of Luminate Education Group, commented:

“Andrew has an incredible ability to turn his vision into action. He has acted as an inspirational leader for the White Rose Academies Trust since September 2016 and the way he has developed the trust has been exceptional.

“He is very focused on working collaboratively, so I look forward to him bringing this approach into his new role. Working with a team of excellent managers from both the FE colleges and the White Rose Academies Trust, it is Andrew’s passion and ability to lead that gives us confidence about the future of Teaching and Learning across the Luminate Education Group. We have an ambition that Luminate Education Group will provide outstanding initial teacher training and exceptional continual professional development and support for all our staff.”

Helena Phillips, Chair of the White Rose Academies Trust Board of Governors, commented:

“From working closely with Andrew I’ve witnessed first-hand how extremely passionate and committed he is to improving teaching and learning. His ability to take on new ideas and perspectives is inspiring and incredibly valuable to maintaining a strong level of collaboration, governance and accountability.”

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