Academy trust's CEO awarded OBE for services to education

The chief executive of a trust that runs a primary school in Shropshire has been recognised in the New Year's Honours list.

Steve Docking
Steve Docking

Steve Docking, the CEO of the North West Academies Trust (NWAT), which manages ten schools, including Ellesmere Primary School, has been awarded an OBE in recognition of outstanding service to education.

A statement from the trust said Mr Docking had "worked passionately to oversee the development of NWAT since it launched in 2011".

It added: "Underpinned by his vision to ‘open children’s eyes to the wonderful world of possibility’, the trust’s schools strive to deliver an outstanding education built on great academic achievement, with enrichment opportunities inspiring children toward their full potential."

Mr Docking said: “When I received the letter informing me of the OBE, it was genuinely overwhelming. I don’t mind saying I shed a tear.

“I’m so proud of what we have all achieved together at NWAT, through the dedication and hard work of many people. To receive recognition like this is a truly humbling.

“Being bestowed with this honour will drive me on to help make the trust, and all that we do, even bigger and better, so we can provide the best possible education to more children. This award reflects everything our schools have achieved, and I want people to see that.”

Mr Docking, who lives in Chester, has taught in five different primary schools, and held three headteacher positions.

After being appointed headteacher at Delamere CE Primary in 2005, he saved the school from closure and then helped earn an outstanding rating from Ofsted.

When he founded NWAT, Delamere became the smallest school ever to convert to an academy.

In 2013, NWAT opened St Martin’s Academy in Chester, which is rated outstanding and is one of the most oversubscribed schools in the country.

The following year, NWAT took over the running of the former Greenfields Primary in Winsford – the second worst performing school in the country. Now called Oak View Academy, it is very successful and rated good by Ofsted.

Over the past decade, NWAT has grown from 42 pupils to 2,500 across Cheshire West & Chester, Cheshire East and Shropshire.

The trust now oversees the running of nine primary schools and one secondary school. All are rated good or outstanding.

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