New CEO Announced for Changing Lives Learning Trust

By 30 April 2024No Comments

Changing Lives Learning Trust proudly announces the appointment of Judith Schafer as the incoming Chief Executive Officer, following the retirement of Jonathan Johnson OBE.

With an extensive background in teaching, education leadership and development, Judith brings a wealth of experience to lead the Trust in achieving its vision that ‘Changing Lives Learning Trust will have legitimate grounds to claim that our educational experience enables those we undertake to teach and train to have a preparation for life that is excelled by no other.’

Judith Schafer will take on the role of CEO from September 2024, having previously held the Deputy CEO position, alongside her role as Director of the One Cumbria Teaching School Hub. Having worked in education for almost 30 years, Judith began her career as an English teacher before moving on to become a headteacher and executive headteacher before joining the Trust three years ago. During her three years as Director of the One Cumbria Teaching School Hub, Judith has been instrumental in its success, leading the hub in the development and support of 423 Early Career Teachers, the professional development of 488 Cumbrian teachers and leaders in education, and a successful bid to become the only accredited provider of initial teacher training in Cumbria. She also previously held the Chair of the Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders and the Chair of the Cumbrian Association of Secondary Heads for three years.

Judith Schafer commented:

It is an honour, a privilege and a responsibility to have been offered the opportunity to pick up the mantle of Chief Executive Officer for Changing Lives Learning Trust from September, a role I am delighted to accept. 

I am committed to Changing Lives Learning Trust. Our schools are an eclectic mix with different contexts, communities and identities. This is something we will continue to celebrate and I am very much looking forward to continuing to be out and about in our schools, meeting children and students, staff and parents, governors and trustees, listening to the challenges and the opportunities we face, and working together to make sure we are doing the right things, and doing them right.”

David Davidson, Chair of Trustees added:

I am delighted that Judith Schafer will take up the role of CEO from 1st September 2024. 

Judith stood out from the other applicants from the beginning to the end of the recruitment process. This was recognised by those who were involved in the process and by Propelo, our independent educational recruitment consultants.

I wish Judith every success in her new role and look forward to working with and supporting her to discharge her duties as CEO.”

Outgoing CEO, Jonathan Johnson OBE founded West Lakes Multi Academy Trust in 2018 under the sponsorship and governance of The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield Ltd., and the University of Central Lancashire. Six years later and the now named Changing Lives Learning Trust has eight schools under its umbrella and others in the process of joining, spanning Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness as well as one planned in Lancashire. Jonathan’s dedication to the Trust’s vision has laid a strong foundation for Judith to build upon.

Judith will officially assume the role of CEO on 1st September 2024. Their appointment marks an exciting new chapter for the Trust as it remains committed to changing lives through learning.