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

Let our kids be kids – by not striking

Let our kids be kids – by not striking

This morning, thousands of children and parents went on strike in protest at the Year 2 SATs. A woman on the radio told a story about how her daughter had been placed under such intolerable pressure that she was coming home crying, and waking up with nightmares. As a...
Schools and the housing market

Schools and the housing market

The Fair Education Alliance, a laudable campaign which seeks to narrow educational inequality in the UK, recently released its ‘Report Card 2015’. Based on their five agreed ‘impact goals’, the report analyses differing levels of achievement between more and less...
Universal Academisation – what needs to happen? Part 1

Universal Academisation – what needs to happen? Part 1

I wrote last week about my argument for universal Academisation. If I was rewriting that now, with a critical eye, I’d be clearer that two of my arguments – addressing the conflict of interest, and creating the best system for continual improvement – are evergreen, or...
Universal Academisation – what needs to happen? Part 2

Universal Academisation – what needs to happen? Part 2

In part 1, I outlined some major changes to the way in which individual Academies are governed, to maintain a formal parental role both for the process of converting to an Academy, and also ongoing oversight. Below, I want to touch on some wider issues that need to be...
The case for universal Academisation

The case for universal Academisation

“A tale….full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” Macbeth Act V, Scene V. Since the announcement in the Budget on Wednesday that all schools will move to Academy status, the airwaves and social media forums have been full of those proclaiming that...