A MUSIC and arts champion has been appointed to help lead Birmingham-based CORE Education Trust.

Ammo Talwar, who was awarded an MBE in 2008 for his services to music and young people, is now Chair of Directors at CORE Education Trust which runs Rockwood Academy and Nansen Primary School in Alum Rock.

His appointment comes after Mr Talwar has worked tirelessly as a founding board member at CORE Education Trust ever since its incorporation in March 2015.

Mr Talwar, also the founder of award-winning music development agency Punch, is no stranger to education and has helped lead major interventions in schools.

He is current Chair of national contemporary music touring network Black Routes, while also a Governor of performing arts school Birmingham Ormiston Academy.

The Trust has won praise from education leaders including National Schools Commissioner Sir David Carter and Chief Schools’ Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw.  It has led Rockwood Academy and Nansen Primary on a remarkable turnaround, which saw both schools being removed from special measures in March 2016 and rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted.

Ofsted praised the Trust for its “pioneering partnerships” with high profile external organisations in the arts, culture and sports sectors.

Mr Talwar said: “I am delighted to be appointed Chair at CORE Education Trust and I am incredibly proud of all the Trust has already achieved in such a short period of time since its inception.

“We have big plans for the future and a great deal of work to be done to continue to achieve our goal of creating schools that offer students the best opportunities available to them – no matter their background.

“I believe music and the arts should be an integral part of a school curriculum, having seen first-hand how they have the power to transform the lives of young people.

“I look forward to helping CORE on its journey ensuring children are given the best education and start in life.”

Mr Talwar replaces change management expert Bob Wiggins, who was Chair since August 2015.

Meanwhile, lawyer Sabina Kauser has been re-elected as Vice Chair of the Trust’s Board.  Ms Kauser, who specialises in representing clients facing immigration, asylum, and human rights matters, continues to be instrumental in overseeing effective governance and scrutiny of the Trust.

Associate Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre Dr Steve Ball and Andy Argyle, Head of Midlands Devolved Government and Infrastructure at KPMG, remain on the Board.

Adrian Packer, CEO of CORE Education Trust, said:  “We are incredibly fortunate to have such a committed, talented and skilled Board of Directors.

“We want to thank outgoing Chair Bob Wiggins for his dedication and hard work over the last academic year, which has been instrumental in helping the Trust transform our schools.

“Ammo Talwar is hugely inspirational and he very much shares the core values and ethos of our Trust, having been there since the beginning and therefore having helped shape what it has become.

“Sabina Kauser, Dr Steve Ball and Andy Argyle continue to be crucial in their roles, helping us to maintain our transparency, integrity and quality.

“With such a formidable group of people on board, I am confident CORE Education Trust has a very bright future ahead.”


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