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

Academies after 2015

Academies after 2015

The PM speech today promised “new powers to force up to 3,500 coasting schools to accept new leadership” as part of a speech in which he also ring-fenced (in cash terms) the schools budgets for the next five years if the Conservatives win. Policy Exchange is cited in...
Premier League

Premier League

I have a very short piece in City AM today arguing for the continued relevance of league tables despite the hoo hah over various well known public schools being at the bottom due to a quirk in IGCSEs not being recognised. Let me expand beyond the 160 word limit to set...
5 reasons why a return to grammar schools is a bad idea

5 reasons why a return to grammar schools is a bad idea

The single biggest predictor of how a child will do at the age of 16 is the educational qualifications of their parents. That stark fact ought to dominate education discussion in England, and any Secretary of State for Education should therefore have it as their...
A tale of two education announcements

A tale of two education announcements

On Sunday morning, Tristram Hunt suggested that teachers swear an oath to uphold their professionalism. This provoked, as John Blake of Labour Teachers said on the TES blog, outrage, mockery and bafflement. On Sunday evening, the Government came out with the latest...
The Future of Sure Start

The Future of Sure Start

Sure Start is totemic for Labour. Tony Blair called it “one of New Labour’s greatest achievements”. So it is no surprise that as part of Labour’s summer offensive, Lucy Powell should release statistics showing that over 600 Sure Start centres have closed since 2010,...