Sir John Dunford


John is chair of Whole Education and is a trustee of the Learn Academies Trust in south Leicestershire and of the charity Step Together Volunteering.

John was the government’s National Pupil Premium Champion from 2013 to 2015, an independent role in which he worked with schools, trusts, teaching schools and local authorities on the effective use of the pupil premium to raise the educational achievement of disadvantaged pupils, reporting back to the Department for Education on issues raised by school leaders and teachers.

During the autumn of 2010, John conducted an independent review of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, reporting to the Secretary of State for Education, who accepted the review’s recommendations, which were incorporated into the Children and Families Act 2014. He has co-authored reports for the National College for Teaching and Leadership on academy chains; on closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and others; on the leadership of free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools; and on an evaluation of teaching schools.

In November 2016, John’s book ‘The School Leadership Journey’ was published by John Catt.

John was general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (formerly the Secondary Heads Association) from 1998 to 2010. Prior to that, he was a member of the leadership team of three secondary schools in the north-east of England from 1974 to 1998, including 16 years as head of Durham Johnston Comprehensive School, an 11-18 school with 1500 pupils.