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Dan Thomas, now chief executive of The Learning Partnership trust, was once prompted by a fortune cookie to ‘take the opportunity when it comes’. He has, and provided opportunities to thousands of youngsters ever since.

When Dan Thomas, chief executive of the newly formed The Learning Partnership (TLP) trust, suggested posing for our photoshoot next to the grand Bentley car parked outside his office, his deputy chief executive’s “face dropped”.

While he was joking about the picture (he drives a Skoda), it does touch on a bigger concern: what Thomas sees as a “lack of public understanding” that academy trusts “are there for the kids”. 

Some parents have told him they “don’t want our child going to a school that’s part of a trust… We’ve got to have stronger arguments of why we MATs exist, and to demonstrate the impact that we can have on our communities.”

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