News

29 October 2012 | Education | Wey Education plc

Wey Education Announces Resignation of Zenna Atkins

Wey Education shocks the market with the news of the resignation of CEO, Zenna Atkins and also announces it will not be running a school in Mauritius as previously stated.

‚ÄčIn a statement announced to the market, following its AGM on 19 July 2012, the Company reported that it would be designing and project managing a new school in Mauritius and would be running the school from September 2013. The Company now says the statement was premature and no contract in relation to such has been executed or is currently under negotiation. The Company continues to provide consultancy services to the sponsor of the project, in return for a monthly fee.

Zenna Atkins, the CEO and former Chairman of Ofsted has given notice of her resignation and will be leaving the Company's employment at a date to be determined in the latter half of 2013. An announcement will be made in due course about the Company's plans for a successor. As a result of Ms Atkins giving Notice, she is no longer entitled to the potential deferred consideration of up to 30 million Ordinary Shares of the Company payable under the terms of the agreement reached for the acquisition of Zail Enterprises Limited ("Zail").

The Company says it continues to progress in developing its education services with Zail being approved as an Academy Sponsor by the Department for Education. Although the Company has a portfolio of consulting contracts assisting various applicants for Free School and Academy Status, it says it is committed to obtaining and conducting school operating contracts. To this end the Company is recruiting additional executives and consultants to  enable it to provide the anticipated services.

David Massie, the Company's main shareholder, has confirmed his intention to make a loan to the business to provide further working capital through his partnership Massie & Co.

Comment:

Ms Atkins has not enjoyed the smoothest of transitions to the private sector since resigning as the Chairman of Ofsted in June 2010. She lasted just seven weeks at Gems, one of the largest private school groups before leaving to set up Zail Enterprises which later morphed into Wey Education. Her relationship with Wey's largest shareholder,  David Massie is likely to have become strained following the embarassing misunderstanding over the status of the Mauritius deal and the future direction of the business, in particular the role of the Company in the developing Academy and Free School arena. Mr Massie seems intent on securing deals for Wey Education to run school contracts rather than simply provide consultancy and sponsorship and to do so without the high profile and formidable Atkins.  

Peter Wilby, writing for the Guardian newspaper on Ms Atkins appointment at Gems showed great prescience when he said, "Don't underestimate Atkins. I'd rate her chances of being a sensational success at Gems as about evens, with an equal chance of her being a disaster, and zero chance of anything in between."

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