Chief Executive Toby Salt thanks OAT team after five years of progress

Professor Toby Salt, the Chief Executive of Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), is to join AQA, the awarding body, as chief executive in July.

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Professor Salt has led OAT for the last five years, and has overseen strong performance across the trust’s academies in student attainment and progress, with record results achieved in last year’s GCSE and A level results while serving some of the country’s most disadvantaged communities. OAT has grown steadily and responsibly in recent years, and sponsors 31 academies across the country, based around Central, East, South and West regional hubs.

Toby has worked across the education sector in his career, including as head of outstanding rated schools, as a senior civil servant and deputy chief executive of the National College of Teaching and Learning, where he led the teams for school-based programmes including teaching schools and National Leaders in Education (NLE).

Paul Hann, the chair of OAT’s Board, said:

"Toby has made an enormous contribution to OAT and our tens of thousands of students during his time with us. So many of our students come from disadvantaged backgrounds and join us with attainment below the expected level but Toby’s commitment to ensuring that all young people achieve their full potential is absolutely in tune with OAT’s and our partnership has led to real improvements for our students. I would like to put on record my thanks to Toby for his outstanding work with OAT and to wish him every success in the future."

OAT has already started the process of recruiting a new chief executive.

Professor Salt said:

"I am honoured to be joining AQA, especially at such a critical time for education with the major qualification reforms coming in this year. I am looking forward to meeting new colleagues and working with them to further AQA’s charitable mission to advance education.

"But it will be a real wrench to leave OAT. It is a great team, across all our academies, and I am very proud of what we have achieved. OAT is an academy trust that seeks to make the biggest difference, and I am absolutely sure it will continue to go from strength to strength. I am very proud of the team and what we are achieving across the country. I would like to put on record my gratitude for all the fantastic support I have received from across the trust, from classroom teachers and principals to the executive team, the Board and our Chair Paul Hann, and Peter and Diana Murray, whose support and commitment has been unwavering."

Paul Layzell, Chair of AQA’s Council of trustees, said:

"From his early days as a teacher in a comprehensive school to his current role overseeing more than 30 academies, Toby has shown a tireless commitment to ensuring that every young person realises their full potential. As AQA shares this mission, Toby is the perfect choice to lead our organisation into the future. I know he’ll provide strong leadership rooted in a deep understanding of the education world, and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to AQA in the summer."