Jane Manfield - Vice Chair of governors Chiswick School 2010-2014, Chair of governors 2014-2016
"I worked with Tony for six years, during his Headship at Chiswick School, firstly as Vice-Chair and for the last two years as Chair of Governors.
Over this time, I saw first-hand the positive outcomes of his vision and strength of leadership. Results improved significantly, and the school transformed successfully into an Academy. In conjunction with the local authority, a new build project is now in progress to increase capacity to meet increasing local demand.
Tony’s motivation and drive made a tangible difference both to the attitudes of students and staff, making them proud to be associated with the school and to the local community, for whom Chiswick has increasingly become the school of choice.
Like all schools, over the last few years, we had to manage a decreasing budget with inevitable cuts and difficult decisions. Tony’s strategic planning was key to developing a financial model and implementing a reorganised structure that averted financial crisis whilst continuing to provide a curriculum offer that meets the needs of a diverse student base.
In summary, Tony is an inspirational Headteacher, and as a consultant, I have no doubt he can add value and make a difference to all aspects of school leadership, management and improvement."
Andrew Dodge - Chair of governors Chiswick School 2006 - 2014
"I was inspired by Tony Ryan from the first time we met when he hosted an event for headteachers from my local area at his academy in Kent. I was subsequently delighted when he applied for – and was then appointed to – the post of headteacher at the school where I was governing body chair in West London.
The four years we worked together as head and chair were some of the most productive and rewarding I have experienced. As well as welcoming my personal challenge and support (and that of the governing board), Tony regularly challenged my thinking, all of which, I believe, was to the benefit of the school and its students. I found Tony to be an inspirational leader, a consummate manager and a very effective communicator with a very clear, personal vision of what education should be in the 21st century.
Leading many significant new developments at our school, Tony demonstrated that he clearly understands what managing change is all about and can describe it in accessible and jargon-free language and so take everyone with him. His untraditional journey to headship means that he thinks outside the box and can come up with creative solutions to whatever challenges he faces. He is an exceptional listener; at our school, he actively sought and listened to the views of pupils, staff, parents and governors and used them in developing his vision for the school.
Hugely respected by other headteachers locally, he chaired the Education Improvement Partnership, which included securing a successful bid to open a Free School to meet the increasing demand for school places in our area.
The skills and experience he can draw on are exceptionally broad. They include school improvement, school structures, curriculum planning and development, finance, IT strategy, staff restructuring, working with governing bodies/trustees.
At the heart of everything, Tony instigates and works on are the pupils. He never forgets that they should always be at the centre of any school improvement initiative.
I believe that Tony Ryan will make a significant and positive difference to any organisation which decides to draw on and benefit from his expertise."