Daryll Chapman, the founding CEO of Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust (DMAT), is now retiring from leadership to focus on new adventures. Daryll has been a central figure in Devonshire education for nearly two decades.
Local school trust bids farewell to retiring founder CEO.
Daryll’s teaching career began over 30 years ago. He found himself in his first leadership role just two weeks after beginning teaching at a school in Hemel Hempstead, outside of London. After an injury to his head of department, Daryll undertook the Acting Head of Department role, and within a year was promoted to Head of Year. His career rapidly progressed, and he made his way to Devon in 2001 when he was appointed Vice Principal at Okehampton College, where he was later appointed Principal.
Daryll’s leadership was called upon by the Local Authority in 2010, when he was seconded to Tavistock College following a failed Ofsted inspection. Under his leadership, Tavistock College transformed to being rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted by 2013, and Okehampton College was rated ‘Outstanding’ in 2014. His success led to his appointment as Executive Principal over Dartmoor Federation, which began with four primary schools and one college.
Dartmoor Federation continued to build expertise, leading Daryll in 2016 to set up the Dartmoor Teaching School Alliance (Dartmoor TSA), now the largest of its kind in the South West. Dartmoor TSA has supported the training and development of teachers and school leaders across Devon. It now has 88 schools in its network, impacting on thousands of teaching careers and countless children who have benefitted from strong teaching.
In 2018, Daryll was essential in starting Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, a charitable education trust based in Okehampton, which was established with 15 schools as a network of primary and secondary schools focused on school improvement. In October 2020, the Trust welcomed its 17th school.
While he is now embarking on his retirement, Daryll will still be using some of his time to mentor headteachers regionally, meaning the Devonshire education system will continue to benefit from his expertise.
DMAT has recently announced the appointment of their new CEO, Dan Morrow, who will join the Trust in January. Morrow is currently the CEO of Woodland Academy Trust, which has schools in South East London and Kent.
Daryll is confident that the schools in DMAT will be in safe hands with Morrow and the DMAT leadership team, board of trustees and local academy committees.
Daryll Chapman, Founding CEO of Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, said:
“Our schools mean so much to me. It has been really heartening to see our pupils, staff and wider school communities really come together throughout the challenges of COVID-19 to really work together and support each other. I am incredibly proud of all of them – this strong network of schools is exactly what we set out to build. I am confident that DMAT and our schools will continue to grow from strength to strength, and I will continue to follow their progress with pride and celebrate every milestone.”
Tania Skeaping, Chair of Trustees, Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, said:
“Whilst we will miss working with Daryll very much, we are very pleased for him that he will now be able to take this time and pursue his next adventures. Daryll has been integral in helping us build our wonderful Trust, and we are very proud to have shared in the Trust’s development with him. We wish him all the best in his new adventures.”
Ian Courtney OBE, Founding Chair of Trustees, Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, said:
“I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Daryll for well over fifteen years; his dedication, not just to the young people directly in his charge, but to all he might reach has been unwavering and deeply humbling to witness.
“Daryll always handled difficult situations with creativity and his trademark impish humour; he is always willing to try something different if it might help even a single student and his sense of ‘The Right Thing’ is unerring.
“I wish him much joy and fulfilment in the next stage of his remarkable career; thousands of young people will I have no doubt join me in thanking him for being part of our lives.”