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RSA Academies (RSAA) has appointed John Towers to chair the board overseeing its family of Academy schools.

John is currently the Head of Homefield School in London and has nearly 30 years’ experience in the education sector. Prior to his current post, he was Director of Education for Reach to Teach, a charity running schools and providing teacher training for vulnerable tribal communities in India.

John’s career has also included being Head of one of the ‘most improved’ primary schools in the country and a school improvement adviser.  John has a wide experience of senior non-executive posts across school, exam board and charity settings. He has a strong interest in developing innovative educational practice and is a Fellow of the RSA.


John Towers, chair-elect of the RSAA, said:

“I’m delighted to be the new Chair of the RSA Academies Board. The Family of Academies does vital work in providing a genuinely enriching curriculum to communities in the West Midlands. As an RSA Fellow and a passionate educator, I’ve long admired the society's work in championing creativity and standards in education. I’m keen to ensure the sterling provision in these schools continues to benefit from a close and enriching relationship with the RSA.”


John takes over from the current chair Dr Sue Horner MBE, who has been in the role since 2012.

RSA Academies is an independent charity with strong links to the Royal Society of Arts, collaborating on programmes such as the Pupil Design Awards, Performing Arts Hub and a Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health in schools. The RSA Academies aim to provide an inspirational and creative education for all pupils which relates their learning to the wider world, provides experiences which broaden horizons, and enables children and young people to develop the skills needed for success and personal fulfilment. Its work focuses on four areas: excellence in learning; arts, culture and creativity; the world beyond school and mental health.


Peter Fell, deputy chair of the RSA, said:

“We spoke to various candidates throughout the recruitment process and it was clear that John’s passion for creativity in education made him extremely well-placed to take over as chair. John’s experience across education, and in development specifically, will be critical for RSA Academies as we look to expand our family of schools in the West Midlands in coming years.

“I would also like to thank our outgoing chair Sue for her passion and dedication over the last six years. Sue has played an absolutely critical role here at the RSA, and in particular bringing her extensive experience of curriculum development as well as her passion for literature – making a real contribution to pupils’ lives in this part of the world."

Sue Horner, outgoing chair of RSAA, said:

"The last six years have been a challenging and very rewarding journey, making great progress as a family of schools. I’d like to thank my fellow RSA Academies trustees for all their support, and also thanks to Peter Fell and Vikki Heywood from the RSA Board for their unfailing helpfulness.

"RSA Academies is now a well-established group of schools in the West Midlands, teaching pupils aged 4 to 19. The schools are collaborative and very supportive of each other. They share the twin aims to improve academic standards and to develop our distinctiveness in arts and culture, connections beyond the school gate and well-being and mental health. We are delighted that John Towers shares these values and is keen to take us forward to achieve the best for all our young people. This is a good moment to thank our schools’ staff, children and young people for all their hard work and I personally want to wish them all the very best for the future."




Ash Singleton, RSA Head of Media and Communications on behalf of RSA Academies,, 07799 737 970.



RSA Academies is a small and dynamic group of schools. There are currently seven - all based in the West Midlands.

The schools have a very strong connection to the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), a charity dedicated to solving social issues through ideas and research. RSA Academies works with RSA Fellows and external partners including the University of Warwick and the Royal Shakespeare Company to enrich young people’s learning and their capacity to achieve.

The seven schools in the RSA Family of Academies are all members of the RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance, part of the National Teaching Schools scheme.


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