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Speaker Biography

Jon Coles

 Jon Coles
Since January 2012, Jon Coles has been Group Chief Executive of ULT/UCST, a significant provider of independent schools and the country’s largest sponsor of Academies.

Up until that point, he had spent much of his career working in the Department for Education (under its various different names), latterly as Director General for Education Standards, responsible for a wide range of policy including leading the review of the National Curriculum, reforming initial teacher training, qualifications, testing, accountability and policy to improve behaviour in schools. Before that, he was Director General for Schools, responsible for oversight of the Academies Act 2010, National Challenge, school funding and capital investment and a range of other policies.

He had previously spent three years as Director of 14-19 Reform, leading the drive to raise participation post-16 and attainment at 19, reduce NEET numbers, reform curriculum and qualifications and develop Diplomas. He also led work to raise the participation age and to develop a new planning and performance management system for post-16 education and training. As Director of London Challenge, Jon was responsible over a three year period for developing and implementing the strategy to improve secondary education in London, which also led to similar approaches in other parts of the country.

In his career, Jon has been responsible for various Green and White Papers. He was responsible for taking the 2002 Education Act through Parliament, having written the White Paper which preceded it. A qualified secondary teacher, his previous jobs included implementing the infant class size pledge, developing future strategy for ICT in schools and a strategy for e-government, on secondment to the Cabinet Office.”