Queen honours Trust Director

Queen honours Trust Director

Frank Norris who has led the Co-op Academies Trust for the past six years has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Norris, who steps down from his position as Director, this summer has established the Co-op as one of the most successful Multi-Academy Trusts in the country.

The Co-op, which operates 23 schools and colleges in some of the most economically challenged areas across the North of England, has an impressive track record of turning around schools, which were previously struggling.

Despite having the highest percentage of disadvantaged children of any MAT in the country, all the Co-op academies that have been inspected by Ofsted have been judged as ‘Good’ or have improved significantly.

The Co-op Academies Trust is in the midst of a major expansion programme which will see the number of academies it supports double to 40 by 2022.

Frank Norris, a former senior HMI at Ofsted, said: “I am honoured to receive this award but is not just about me. I am surrounded by a team of committed individuals who believe that every student should be helped and encouraged to achieve their full potential. By providing a great education, Co-op Academies are changing the lives of thousands of young people.“

“I am also fortunate to have had the full backing of the Co-op that sees its support for the Academies Trust an integral part of its community engagement because it understands the effect of a good school, which was previously failing or weak, is immense in regenerating communities.

“My wife and children have supported me in my career in so many ways. I will definitely be accepting the award on their behalf as well.”


Steve Murrells, CEO at the Co-op said: “This award is fully deserved. Frank is an outstanding leader and he personifies Co-op values and acts as a fantastic role model not only for his thousands of students but his colleagues in the Trust and all of us across the Co-op.”


Russell Gill, Chair of the Co-op Academies Trust, said: “Frank’s passion for education and his support for young people from all backgrounds coupled with his impressive leadership skills means that the Co-op Academies Trust is now recognised as one of the best in the country.

“During his six years in charge the Trust has grown from just six academies to 23 and he has established the foundations for its continued expansion and success.”