THERE'S a new boss at the top of a York-based schools chain.

Helen Winn, who is currently principal of Ipswich Academy and sits on the executive committee of Paradigm Trust, will succeed Brian Crosby as chief executive officer of the Hope Learning Trust, York next summer.

Hope is a growing multi-academy trust and includes Manor CE Academy, Vale of York Academy, Barlby High School, Graham School, George Pindar School, Poppleton Ousebank Primary, Burton Green Primary, Forest of Galtres Anglican Methodist Primary, Baldersby St James Primary and Skelton Primary.

Helen said: “I am delighted to be appointed as the next CEO of the Hope Learning Trust and am looking forward to taking up the role next summer. My slightly mixed career path in both teaching and construction will hopefully put me in good stead to continue Brian Crosby’s great work. I will be spending as much time as possible getting to know the trustees and the Hope team and getting involved with plans and developments.”

Originally from the North East, Helen qualified as a teacher after leaving university. Just three years after starting her career in Essex, she became assistant head at a secondary modern, later returning to the North for another assistant head role and then a deputy principal role. In a big departure from her vocation, she moved away from teaching in 2009 to become a consultant in the construction sector, helping firms to bid for new contracts.

In 2011, she was approached to do consultancy at Ipswich Academy when it opened.

She had never been to Ipswich before but said: “There was something about Ipswich Academy that really made me want to come back into teaching. I just felt an immediate connection. I’d been in lots of other schools but there was something special which made me feel I wanted to work here.”

After three years as a consultant, she was appointed as associate principal and relocated to Suffolk in January 2014, before becoming first interim principal and then permanent principal in 2017.

The school, which had long-running problems with achievement and pupils’ behaviour, has now been transformed into an academy which provides high-quality education.

Chairman of the Hope Learning Trust Board, Tony Myers, said: “Helen has a wealth of leadership and brings with her a clear vision and implementation of child-centred education. She has a focus on practising Christian-based servant leadership, while identifying and communicating strategic issues and direction clearly to the whole community. The trustees and I are very much looking forward to welcoming her to the Hope family.”

Helen takes up her post formally in summer 2020 and during the next few months, she will be consulted on key matters being considered by Hope Trustees and leaders.