Reach Academies

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Reach Academies is described as a family of multi academy trusts consisting of Reach2, Reach4 and Reach South.

REAch2 Academy Trust is the largest primary-only multi-academy trust in England. It operates 53 primary academies. It was given permission to open a further 21 primary 'free schools' in Sept 2016.[1]

In 2016 it was described as one of 11 ‘system leader’ academy chains in England.[2]

REACH stands for 'Raising Educational Achievement for Children'.


REAch2 was founded in 2012, it was one of the first to receive a share of the government's £10million Northern Sponsor fund.

REAch4 Academy Trust was established in 2015 as a sister trust to REAch2, working with primary, secondary and all-through schools. In April 2017, Reach4 rebranded as Astrea Academy Trust and appointed new members that 'cut off any remaining ties to its founders'.[3]

The charity announced the creation of a third trust, REAch South, in May 2016, which is expected to takeover 15 schools in its first year, with similar numbers of schools joining each year thereafter.[4]


Chris Kirk, formerly of PwC and the Department of Education, started working alongside REAch Academies' leadership team in 2016.[5]


Leadership (2016):[6]

Trustees (2016):

  • Peter Little, chair of trustees. Investor in and director of a number of software businesses in the financial technology sector. Little, for example, is a director of Twigkit, a 'search' software company.
  • Clare Walsh, co-founder of Metia media, a digital marketing agency, and has 30 years’ experience in the financial technology sector.
  • Jeremy King, CEO & Founder of Attest, an online market research startup backed by investors Episode 1 Ventures. Formerly 9 years with McKinsey & Company. King is on the advisory board of Founders4Schools.
  • Mark Taylor, head of education for compliance professionals at HSBC Holdings.
  • Michael Peters, director of Camber Consulting, a public services company with 'considerable experience of helping to move education and care organisations to improve'. His firm is described as having 'undertaken major consultancy and management contracts' with, among others, Reach2 Academy Trust. Formerly Consultant Director of Education with Tribal Group.[7]
  • Tony Gilbey, Managing Director at HSBC (Global Head of HSBC’s Capital Goods and Automotive team, serving large corporates).
  • Victoria Pigott, commercial litigator and partner at Mishcon de Reya.
  • Rt Revd David Rossdale, former Bishop of Grimsby.
  • Colin Powell, Director of Education for the Southwark Diocese Board of Education.
  • Dr Louise Askew, translator and interpreter


For REAch4 people, see Astrea Academy Trust.

Linked companies




  1. Greening unveils 77 new free schools, Schools Week, 16 Sept 2016
  2. [ 11 academy trusts now have more than 30 schools and are labelled ‘system leaders’], Schools Week, 30 November 2016
  3. REAch2’s spin-off academy trust renamed Astrea, Schools Week, 11 April 2017
  4. REACH academy chain creates third arm to sponsor 15 schools, Schools Week, 23 May 2016
  5. Chris Kirk, Linkedin profile, accessed Dec 2016
  6. Leadership, Reach2 website, accessed May 2016
  7. Michael Peters profile, Linkedin, accessed May 2016