Ian Burchett joins Co-op Academies Trust as education director for Greater Manchester

The Co-op Group is the UK’s largest corporate sponsor of Academies

The Co-op Academies Trust has appointed Ian Burchett as the new education director for its Greater Manchester hub.

Mr Burchett, who was formerly executive principal at the Norfolk-based Inspiration Trust, will be responsible for the educational and operational matters for the five secondary and single primary academies operated by the Co-op Group across Greater Manchester.

He will also oversee the academies that join the Co-op Trust in the area.

The Co-op Group is the UK’s largest corporate sponsor of academies. The Co-op Trust operates schools in West Yorkshire, Merseyside and North Staffordshire and plans to treble the number of schools it operates to 40 by 2022. The trust also plans to increase the numbers of students (from 10,000 to 40,000) and teachers and support staff employed (from 1,000 to 4,000).

Frank Norris, director of the Trust, who is due to retire in June, said: “Although we are in the midst of a major expansion programme it is essential that we continue to offer our students, many from some of the most economically challenged communities across the north of England, the best possible opportunities.

Related: Co-op academies boss Frank Norris to retire in June 2019

“I am confident that Ian with all his experience will ensure that all the academies he is responsible for will deliver the highest possible educational provision and achieve the excellent outcomes we are seeking to achieve.”

Mr Burchett said: “I firmly believe we must continuously demonstrate capacity to do what we do even better, through collaboration and focusing on that which matters most. I can’t wait to get started in order to make a genuine, lasting, difference to the lives of thousands of youngsters every day.”