Educator and policy expert John Blake joins Ark and Now Teach

Ark is pleased to announce that John Blake will be joining the organisation as Curriculum Design Lead. He will also take on the role of Director of Strategy and Policy for Now Teach, the Ark-incubated venture working to encourage experienced professionals to retrain as teachers.

John is an experienced educator who has been a schoolteacher, and a senior school leader. He was a prominent activist in the National Union of Teachers and founder of the grassroots network “Labour Teachers.”

Most recently, he was Head of Education and Social Reform at Policy Exchange. John studied Modern History at the University of Oxford, and holds a PGCE from the UCL Institute of Education, and an MSt in education from the University of Cambridge.

Rebecca Boomer-Clark, Director of Secondary for Ark said: “We are really pleased to have John Blake joining us as our new Curriculum Design Lead. This role puts John at the heart of Ark’s efforts to provide our teachers with the resources and the training that they need to deliver an education of the highest quality. His work developing and improving curricula will benefit students of every age and at every level of attainment throughout our network.”

John Blake said: “I’m excited to be leading on Ark’s curriculum design. Building thorough, integrated curricula has the potential to have a real impact on student outcomes as it allows students to continuously build on a strong base of knowledge. Good curriculum design is also about empowering teachers – when it’s done well, it provides teachers with resources that enable them to reduce their workload and get on with doing what they do best – teaching. Ark has been on the forefront of recognising the importance of an integrated curriculum and I’m keen to help them take things forward.”

He added: “Now Teach has had an impressive impact encouraging and recruiting experienced professionals to join the ranks of our nation’s teachers. They are helping an entire generation discover that teaching is one of the most rewarding careers that anyone can pursue. As Director of Strategy and Policy, I hope to be working with others in the education sector to come up with innovative ways for us to be able to enable an even wider audience to join the profession.”

Katie Waldegrave, Director of Now Teach said: “Now Teach is helping people who’ve already had successful careers to become great teachers. John Blake’s background as a teacher, activist and policy expert makes him perfectly suited to help us build a movement of senior professionals redeploying their skills in the classroom. I’m so pleased to have someone of his calibre joining our team.”