Flying High Trust founder Chris is honoured with an OBE

Flying High Trust chief Chris Wheatley is being made an OBE. Photo: Louise Brimble.
Flying High Trust chief Chris Wheatley is being made an OBE. Photo: Louise Brimble.

The chief operating officer of a Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire multi-academy trust has received an OBE for services to education.

Chris Wheatley, has 25 years’ experience in education, and eight

years as chief executive of the Flying High Trust which he founded in 2012 at Cotgrave Candleby Lane School.

The primary multi-academy trust now has 26 member schools throughout Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, including The Flying High Academy in Mansfield), Greenwood Primary & Nursery School in Kirkby-in-Ashfield), Hillside Primary & Nursery School in Hucknall, Hucknall Flying High Academy, Kirkstead Junior Academy in Pinxton, Leamington Primary School and Mapplewells Primary & Nursery School, both in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Peafield Lane Academy in Mansfield Woodhouse), John King Infant Academy and Longwood Infant Academy, both in Pinxton.

During his leadership, the Flying High Trust has been the recipient of many accolades including being recognised as one of the top 5 performing Trusts’ nationally for multi- academy trusts of more than 10 schools, and top 3 nationally for progress in reading and writing of disadvantaged children.

Chris, who is a previous winner of Head Teacher of the Year Award, said: “I am excited at the news but also want to say I think this is recognition of what the trust has achieved as a whole, not just me. This is for all of the staff and children too.

“We mark our success as the children achieving their dreams.

“I want to support our children to realise their ambition and to be a success and to make a positive contribution to society.

“We also view success as breaking down any social barriers which might impede opportunity.

He added that that the award has led to a certain amount of change in the workplace.

He said: “People are enjoying pulling my leg by bowing or curtsying in front of me as I walk in, and some are calling me ‘OBE’-Wan Kenobi.

“But no one is treating me any differently and nor should they – this award is for all of us.”