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ASDAN welcomes Melissa Farnham as new Chief Executive Officer

ASDAN is pleased to announce the appointment of Melissa Farnham as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective from 10 June 2024.  

Melissa brings a wealth of experience in education and charity leadership across multiple settings, and holds a number of non-executive and advisory roles across education. Her vision and values align perfectly with ASDAN's mission to engage, elevate and empower learners with diverse needs.  

ASDAN is embarking on a new education strategy, defining the ASDAN skills which form the DNA across its whole education offer, strengthening the coherence across its programmes and qualifications, and cementing the ‘ASDAN way’ – the pedagogy through which ASDAN courses are delivered by education practitioners across the globe. This new strategy will encompass the development of a suite of qualifications across our specialist areas, incorporating innovative digital components, and features a series of ambitious goals for the coming years to benefit ever more learners.  

Rik Boxer, Chair of Trustees, expressed his enthusiasm for the appointment:

‘Melissa has an evident passion for education, an excitement for all that ASDAN is and will be, and extensive experience as teacher, headteacher and executive leader across a broad range of education communities. Her values, professional background and wide experience make her the ideal candidate to lead ASDAN into its next phase of development.” 

Melissa explained her motivation for joining ASDAN:

‘I have long been a passionate advocate for the role education has as an enabler of equality and social mobility. Inspired by ASDAN’s growth and impact on a national and international level, I am honoured to lead this remarkable charity into its next phase of development. The role and nature of the education landscape is ever changing; ASDAN is well positioned to help learners fulfil their potential and thrive in the future, regardless of their background. I want to thank Jenny for her leadership and I look forward to working with the ASDAN community to build on her legacy.

ASDAN’s former Chief Executive, Jenny Williams, concluded:

‘It has been an honour to lead ASDAN since 2016. We have overcome some challenging times, and I am proud of the work we have done to renew ASDAN, develop an education strategy that stays true to ASDAN’s principles while responding to changes in the external landscape, and lay strong foundations for a sustainable and promising future.

‘This has not been an easy decision, but after almost eight extraordinary years in which together we have evolved ASDAN, I believe this is the right time to hand over the reins to Melissa to lead the next chapter of ASDAN’s story.’

We look forward to welcoming Melissa and are excited to enter this new phase of ASDAN.