Venessa Willms OBE has been named as Ark's new Director of Education responsible for work across 38 primary, secondary and all-through schools following the announcement of Rebecca Boomer-Clark's appointment as CEO of Academies Enterprise Trust (AET).
Venessa started in Ark as the founding Principal of King Solomon Academy and became Executive Headteacher of Ark Oval Primary Academy in 2010 before becoming Director of Primary for Ark in 2013. She was awarded an OBE for services to education in 2016 and is currently serving a second term as an Ofsted board member.
Rebecca, formerly the Regional Schools Commissioner for the South West, joined Ark in 2017 as Director of Secondary Education. She is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Ambition Institute, a trustee of Jamie’s Farm and will join AET in June.
Lucy Heller, Chief Executive of Ark, said, “It is with a mixture of pride and sadness that we will say goodbye to Becks. It’s a terrific appointment for AET. Venessa brings an incredible track record of success as well as a deep understanding of Ark’s values and our people to this new role.”
Venessa will start in her new role after the summer term half term break in early June. She will be supported by Jerry Collins who joins the management team as Director of Secondary Education from his position as Ark’s Regional Director.
On the appointment to her new role, Venessa said, “I’m incredibly excited and proud to be taking on this new role at this important time. My work will build on our existing strengths to deliver our mission to ensure that all our young people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential.”