We’re excited to share some news that marks a new era for the Teacher Development Trust. We’re proud to announce that Gareth Conyard, formerly Director of Education at the TDT, has been appointed as Co-CEO (Impact & Delivery) while David Weston will become Co-CEO (Research & Innovation). This decision, initiated by David, reflects our commitment to fostering a collaborative, innovative, and dynamic approach to leadership. Both of us remain full time.
While the concept of shared leadership might be seen as novel in the world of education, it is gaining traction. A number of schools, charities and public bodies have been creating models where leadership at the top is much more shared and collaborative. The idea of the single, ‘heroic’ leader is becoming increasingly inefficient and unsustainable. The effect of the pandemic has shown how more flexible, collaborative, and distributed models of working can benefit individuals and organisations. Ultimately, we’ve pursued this model to allow us to play into our respective strengths and experiences and to be more agile, responsive, and effective in pursuing our mission to create schools where staff develop expertise and thrive so that students succeed.
The board’s decision to appoint us as Co-CEOs rests on our complementary skillsets. Gareth has extensive experience in policy and delivery stemming from his long career in the civil service. Drawing on his experience of developing and delivering huge programmes in teacher and leadership development, he is uniquely positioned to lead the TDT’s impact and operational work. His dedication to improving educational outcomes for students and fostering a culture of continuous improvement aligns perfectly with our mission.
On the other hand, David’s background in research, technology and innovation will enable him to focus on exploring new ideas and approaches that can transform teacher development. With a background that includes teacher development, leadership development, research translation, software development and policy advisory work, as Co-CEO (Research & Innovation), he will concentrate on identifying and fostering best practices, fostering partnerships, and promoting the adoption of evidence-based practices and new technology to ensure that the TDT remains at the forefront of innovation in education.
As the organisation approaches its 11th anniversary, we’ve grown significantly. We now work with thousands of schools every year through:
- Our long-standing TDT Network services to give
- Clarity (through diagnostic, benchmarking reviews from experts)
- Support (through expert coaching, peer support and online guidance), and
- Capacity (through training in CPD leadership, teacher coaching skills and teacher enquiry & lesson study skills)
- Our newer and fast growing offer of TDT National Professional Qualifications.
We’re seeing huge reach and impact. Our latest data on our NPQs gives us a sector-leading 99% satisfaction rate and recent evaluations of our work have showed positive impacts on school leadership effectiveness, teaching quality and school culture. We are now moving to this new leadership structure to accelerate improvement yet further and to increase the level of innovation to support a sector whose operational, financial and developmental challenges have never been greater.
Our Chair, Dame Sue John, has expressed her support for this new leadership model. In her words, “The appointment of David and Gareth as Co-CEOs is a testament to the Teacher Development Trust’s commitment to innovation and collaboration. Their complementary expertise will ensure that the TDT continues to lead the way in transforming teacher development, ultimately benefiting both educators and students alike.”
As we embark on this new chapter in the TDT’s journey, we are confident that our co-leadership model will help us build on our past successes and propel us towards new heights in our mission to create schools where staff develop expertise and thrive so that students succeed. We are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and remain deeply committed to working together to drive positive change in education.
Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to sharing our progress with you in the coming months.
David Weston & Gareth Conyard
Co-CEOs, Teacher Development Trust
Between 2003-2022, Gareth worked at the Department for Education on a range of policies from early years to higher education. Latterly, he led the development and delivery of the Early Career Framework and reformed National Professional Qualifications. He also spent two years as an Education Adviser at the Department of International Development, focusing on girls’ education and multilateral investment. Gareth joined TDT in 2022 as Director of Education before assuming the new role of Co-CEO (Impact & Delivery) Gareth is particularly interested in supporting effective leadership and promoting positive wellbeing, an interest he advances as a trustee of Education Support.
David is the founder of the Teacher Development Trust and now Co-CEO (Research & Innovation). He is the former Chair of the Department for Education’s Teachers’ Professional Development Expert Group and, alongside Bridget Clay, wrote Unleashing Great Teaching: the secrets to the most effective teacher development. He recently co-authored a working paper on effective culture in schools, A Culture of Improvement. David taught maths and physics for ten years in two schools in London and the South East. He is a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. David speaks and writes frequently for the education sector and national media and has had a number of radio and TV appearances on the subject of teaching, teacher development and LGBT issues.