Jonathan Simons

Director of Policy and Advocacy, Varkey Foundation


Jonathan is the newly appointed Director at the not-for-profit organisation established to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children throughout the world. He was formerly Head of the Education Unit at Policy Exchange, where he directed research on all aspects of education including Early Years, schools, skills and HE. Previously Jonathan worked at Serco Group, where he was Director of Strategy in the company’s specialist education practice. Prior to that, he was Head of Open Public Services in the Cabinet Office, and Head of Education in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the administrations of both Gordon Brown and David Cameron. Outside of work Jonathan is the Chair of Governors and Co-Founder of Greenwich Free School, and a Trustee of Reach4 Multi Academy Trust. He writes a weekly column for the TES newspaper on politics and education policy.

Jonathan Simons

Related Posts & Publications

Re-Extending Schools

Re-Extending Schools

There are two headline commitments in Ed Miliband’s speech yesterday: to extend free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds from 15 hours a week to 25 hours a week, and to place a new legal duty on primary schools to ensure that wraparound care is available from...
Nick Clegg’s Alternative Speech

Nick Clegg’s Alternative Speech

Instead of creating dividing lines that contradict earlier commitments to free schools, education could be front and centre in the Liberal Democrat manifesto as proof positive of the benefits of Coalition – a calling card of respectability and maturity in a...
Lessons from Al-Madinah – What we can and can’t learn

Lessons from Al-Madinah – What we can and can’t learn

The Ofsted report about Al-Madinah free school in Derby does not make for comfortable reading – the schools is “dysfunctional”, leadership and management (as well as all other key criteria) are “inadequate”, the governing body is “ineffective” and the school “has not...
A new Labour position on free schools

A new Labour position on free schools

Tristram Hunt has made a bold start to his career as Shadow Education Secretary.  In an interview with the Daily Mail, and a follow up TV interview on Andrew Marr, he was explicit in setting out the Labour position on free schools. “What I am saying is if you...