Windsor Academy Trust, Trinity Point, High St, Halesowen B63 3HY
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Windsor Academy Trust’s former CEO, Keith Sorrell, recognised in the New Year Honours List

30th December 2023

Windsor Academy Trust’s former CEO, Keith Sorrell, has been awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours List for services to education.

Keith retired in 2021 after serving six years as CEO for Windsor Academy Trust (WAT) and 16 years as headteacher at Windsor High School and Sixth Form, among his other teaching roles in the region. Always putting children first and striving to improve their life chances, Keith made an enormous impact on education across the West Midlands. 

Receiving an MBE is a fantastic recognition of all that Keith has done to support young people in unlocking their academic and personal potential and the whole of the WAT Family is incredibly proud.

A career dedicated to service 

Keith began teaching in Staffordshire and Birmingham before joining Windsor High School and Sixth Form in 1999. Keith made immediate improvements, which saw the school recognised as one of the most improved in the country in 2000, before guiding Windsor High School to an 'Outstanding' Ofsted rating in 2008.

Recognising his extraordinary work, Keith became a National Leader of Education during the same year, acknowledging his leadership and effectiveness in supporting schools in challenging circumstances. Shortly after, Windsor was selected as a National Support School and awarded an International School Award.

In 2010, Keith's vision for providing a high-quality sixth form for young people in Halesowen came to life when the sixth form building at Windsor High School was officially opened. The sixth form continues to thrive, providing excellent education to over 300 students.

Windsor High School became one of the first converter academies in 2011 when the school was approached by the Department for Education and asked to sponsor other schools in Walsall that needed help. Windsor Academy Trust was formed, and speaking about becoming an academy, Keith said at the time: "We always wanted to help others and collaborate, so this was the perfect opportunity to start the journey where we could support other schools." Goldsmith Primary Academy, Walsall, joined WAT in 2012, shortly followed by Rivers Primary Academy in 2013. 

Keith became CEO of Windsor Academy Trust in 2015 and oversaw significant investment in facilities and infrastructure across the Trust's schools as part of a commitment to continuous improvement and providing great places for children to learn.

This included the development of a new school building for Rivers Primary Academy, which opened in September 2020, significant improvements to outdoor learning spaces across WAT's schools, and the development of a new nursery at Goldsmith Primary Academy. In addition, significant investment in digital technology was made and over £2.5m invested in a more sustainable future through decarbonisation works.

In addition to his role as a CEO and headteacher, Keith worked as a Secondary Consultant to the DfE and sat on the School Workforce Group. He was a member of the Association of School and College Leaders Council for over a decade and sat on the Star Chamber at the DfE, which then dealt with all aspects of data collection for local authorities and academies.

Alongside an extensive teaching career, Keith was an international hockey coach. He took the England Men's team to the 1994 World Cup and the European Championships, was a GB Olympic selector between 1994 and 1996 and also coached Cannock Hockey Club to national titles and European finals from 1999 to 2002.

Many congratulations to Keith on behalf of the entire WAT Family on this much-deserved accolade.