Appointment of our new Chair

Villiers Park Educational Trust announces our new Chair, as John Tizard takes over from Dr Richard Barnes this month.
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Villiers Park Education Trust has announced a new Chair, as John Tizard takes over from Dr Richard Barnes this month.

John has been a trustee of Villiers Park for over three years and more recently as Deputy Chair.

John has a lifetime record of promoting social justice and equality. He is a passionate advocate of, and strongly committed to the rights of young people.

John has had over forty years’ experience of the charity sector as senior executive, chair, trustee and professional advisor. He currently chairs Action Space (an arts charity for people with learning disabilities in London) and b-side CIC (a community arts festival in Dorset).

He brings significant leadership, policy, strategic and governance experience from the public, charity and business sectors having held senior executive roles in a FTSE 100 company and a national charity. He is also a former county councillor and council leader.

John has established and led a research centre at a Russell Group university and held honorary appointments at several universities; and he has significant experience of school governance, having been a Chair of a number of schools and academies over a 30 year period.

John is currently an independent strategic advisor and commentator supporting a wide range of organisations from across all sectors on topics including governance, leadership, localism, public policy and campaigning, and strategic change. He writes, lectures and speaks on these and other topics for national newspapers, and specialist journals, the broadcast media and conferences in the UK and internationally.

Dr Richard Barnes, the Former Chair said:

“I have greatly enjoyed my time as Chair of VPET for the last five years and believe that we have made significant progress in our efforts to increase the number and range of students with whom we work, and enhanced their opportunities, especially in higher education.

"I am also Chair of a Multi-Academy Trust in Peterborough and we are opening a new Academy very soon, which is increasingly taking up much more of my time. I have, therefore, and with great confidence, decided to hand over the reins to John Tizard, who has already proved a committed Deputy Chair and will, I have no doubt, go on to make an outstanding contribution as Chair of the Trust.

"I shall continue to take a great interest in the Trust going forward and to act as an advisor, when requested, on matters such as preparing students to make competitive applications to university.”

Rae Tooth, Chief Executive of Villiers said:

“John’s commitment to tackling disadvantage and its causes, and his wealth of experience in advising on and leading organisational change to enhance impact means that he is the ideal person to chair the Trust through a significant period of change. The Charity will benefit from his strong leadership skills and policy experience, and his relations across public, charitable and private sectors as well as his operational and strategic expertise.”

John Tizard commented

“It is an honour to be taking over from Richard Barnes, who has made a significant contribution to Villiers Park over the last five years.
I am looking forward to working with my fellow trustees, Rae our remarkable Chief Executive, the incredible Villiers Park staff and above all - our students. And I also much look forward to building relations with our partners and funders.

"In normal circumstances I would have been embarking on a tour of the country to meet, listen and learn. For the time being this will have to be via Zoom and other social media applications. None the less, I will not be deflected from my resolve and my promise to assist in further raising our profile, and proactively listen to and support our staff, and above all, champion our students.

"This is a not easy time for any organisation, especially a charity, but I am confident that Villiers Park has the leadership, strategy, resilience and resolve to build an even stronger and more impactful future. We will continue to evolve and change. And above all, we will continue to be driven by our mission, values and passion.”

Our Impact
We work with 1,000 young people a year, empowering them to succeed. View our latest stats and learn about the impact of our work. 
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