Julian Drinkall

Epsom and Ewell schools get new CEO


The new chief executive of one of the country’s biggest multi academy trusts has a busy schedule in place as he prepares to visit all 42 schools under his watch during his first term.

Julian Drinkall, the new CEO of GLF Schools, has started 2024 with a pledge to visit all schools within the Trust, located in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, West Sussex and the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Croydon, during the spring term.

GLF’s schools in Surrey are Banstead Infants, Cuddington Croft Primary (Cheam), Danetree Primary (West Ewell), Glyn (Ewell), Rosebery (Epsom), The Beacon (Banstead), The Vale Primary (Epsom), Warren Mead Infants (Banstead), Warren Mead Juniors (Banstead), Cordwalles Juniors (Camberley), Frogmore Juniors (Camberley), Hammond (Lightwater), Lightwater Village, Pine Ridge & Lorraine Federation (Camberley). Lime Tree (Merstham), Merstham Park, Merstham Primary, Salfords Primary, 

Mr Drinkall replaced the outgoing and founding CEO Jon Chaloner, who stepped down from his role last month after 11 years of leading the organisation through a period of continued growth. The pair worked together in the weeks leading up to the Christmas break to help the transition before the New Year. [Many will remember Jon Chaloner during his headship of Glyn School in Ewell.]

Mr Drinkall said “GLF Schools is in an enviable position, with many great schools and poised to go from strength-to-strength. I intend to visit all our schools in my first full term. Context is everything in schools and, as with our children, each and every one of them has different needs at different moments in time.

“It is that context and that ambition that I want to learn about, and I am looking forward to getting to know as many of our staff as possible, as well as our students, parents and carers, schools and communities, and hearing about the incredible work that everyone is engaged in and committed to.”

Mr Drinkall has held a variety of education CEO roles and was CEO of the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), leading its turnaround over a five-year period. He said he was both ‘delighted and proud’ to be starting work for GLF Schools, which provides education to over 17,000 young people aged from two to 19, in a diverse array of settings and employs around 2,500 members of staff.

He added: “I’m looking forward to establishing new dreams and possibilities for our Trust, and I’m committed to finding innovative and supportive ways to make that happen for all our children and young people.”

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