New CEO of Chester Diocesan Academies Trust


Mr Neil Dixon has been appointed as the new CEO of CDAT with effect from 1st May 2019.  Neil comes into the role with a wealth of experience in Education, working in the primary phase for nearly 25 years as both a practitioner and school leader and 13 years of these as a headteacher, including a period as executive head.  He has also worked with Liverpool Diocesan Board of Education as a member of the Diocesan School Standards Committee.

During his teaching career, Neil has worked across a number of church and community schools within three different Local Authorities, with the vast majority of his experience being in Church of England schools.  This included taking over a school and turning it around from being the worst performing school in the Local Authority and identified for closure, to being judged as outstanding by Ofsted just 5 years later.  He was one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors working for Ofsted and was in this role for 2½ years.

Neil is relishing the opportunity to be leading CDAT forward, as he embarks on the next chapter of the Trust’s development and growth. 

Neil stated, ‘I am delighted to be joining CDAT at this exciting time. I’m really looking forward to working with the fantastic schools who are already part of the trust, and to welcoming new schools into the CDAT family.’

Neil’s appointment follows a rigorous recruitment process that saw candidates undertake a range of tasks and activities that were both school focused and pertinent to other key aspects of the role.  The post attracted a strong field of applicants from across the country, with a high calibre of candidates selected to be taken forward to interview.  The Board were unanimous in their decision to appoint Neil as the CEO  and are very excited at the prospect of him leading CDAT forward in the future at what is such a key stage in the Trust’s development.  Canon Betty Renshaw MBE and Chair of the Board said,

“We are excited and very much looking forward to working with Neil to establish a clear vision and strategy that provides stability for our existing six academies and a growth plan that ensures all pupils have access to educational opportunities that builds for confidence, resilience  and self worth. 

CDAT has been well served by our interim CEO and Director of Education Chris Penn and Deputy Sue Noakes and our partnership with the Board of Education will continue to flourish as we take these exciting next steps forward within our family of schools.“

Page last updated: 8th May 2019 9:09 AM