R.E.A.L. Chairman and Co-Founder Brian Smith is stepping down from his role at R.E.A.L. Education this Christmas. Fear not, his work doesn’t stop there – he will now be focussing his energy on raising the profile of R.E.A.L.’s charity arm, the R.E.A.L. Foundation Trust. Exciting times ahead!
From an early age, Brian had a passion for education and learning, and as his career evolved he was gradually drawn towards teaching and the opportunity to enhance the life chances for children, young people and their families.
After qualifying as a mainstream teacher, Brian quickly developed an understanding and passion for working with pupils with additional needs, and it was this passion and insight that quickly saw him develop into an outstanding and innovative teacher.
This vision and enthusiasm saw him move to Nottinghamshire and develop his skills through a number of roles and teams. During this time Brian saw a steady increase in the number of students being identified and diagnosed with additional learning needs, and it was this recognition alongside the encouragement and enthusiasm of his son Richard that lead to the inception and creation of R.E.A.L. Education.
Soon after co-founding R.E.A.L. Education with Richard in 2008, they soon brought onboard Steve Quinn, Sean Ryan and Nicky Bailey to build the foundations of what we have today.
Steve Quinn, R.E.A.L. Education’s Joint Managing Director said: “Working with Brian has been a pleasure and a privilege. Looking back on how far things have developed since the early days really makes you take stock of the achievement.
“Brian has been pivotal in R.E.A.L.’s development and has allowed Richard and I the freedom to pursue our ambitions for the young people we work with. We believe that R.E.A.L. is something truly special, and Brian should feel immensely proud with how instrumental his part has been.”
Richard Smith, Co-founder & Joint Managing Director said: “I’m not quite sure where the last 11 years have gone to be honest, it’s been quite some journey!
“We were warned when we started that family businesses don’t always work out. I can confirm that hasn’t been the case here, it’s been truly special. To work alongside my Dad for that period of time and create what we have today has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. He really is an asset to the education world.”
A proud Grandfather, Brian is looking forward to spending more time with his family. He will also be taking on a voluntary role within the R.E.A.L. Foundation Trust, aiming to continue to raise the profile of the charity, and extend its reach in providing support services for children and families who need it most.
R.E.A.L. Education wouldn’t exist without Brian’s vision, determination and drive. His focus and goals have never wavered, and his example to staff when working with vulnerable and challenging young people is an example to all.
Thank you Brian!