Simon has led projects for Isos at a local, national and international level on a range of education issues including raising standards at primary and secondary level, increasing youth participation and engagement, re-designing early years provision and widening access to higher education.
In relation to school improvement and school partnerships, Simon has extensive experience of working with multi-academy trusts, schools-led partnerships, local authorities and regional school commissioners to develop and co-construct strategies for supporting schools and designing new models of partnership working.
He has worked with a large number of multi-academy trusts including working with the Regional Schools Commissioner for the South West team and over 30 multi-academy trusts across the South West region to develop and use a self-evaluation framework focused on school improvement across trusts. The framework has now been published nationally for other trusts to use. He has worked with a number of individual large and medium-sized trusts to develop their strategic plans and school improvement approaches. He was also part of the national research team led by the Institute for Education looking at Sustainable improvement in multi-school groups (Dec 2018), in partnership with University College London, looking at the practices of high-performing school groups including multi-academy trusts, teaching school alliances and federations.
He has worked with many local areas to review their approach to school improvement and develop new forms of schools-led partnerships. For example he has supported the design and development of Haringey Education Partnership, working in partnership with school leaders and the local authority to develop and design the new organization. In East Sussex, he supported the creation of new secondary and primary school improvement boards and acted as the interim chair of the Secondary Improvement Board. In Wales, Simon has worked at all levels of the system to review and support the development of new approaches to school improvement, including reviewing the working of regional consortia of local authorities. Simon recently completed a review of the model and approach in the Central South Consortium.
Simon also has specific expertise and experience around secondary education, 14-19 education, youth engagement, access to higher education and early years education. He led a three-year national evaluation for the Department of Education of pilots to prepare for the introduction of Raising the Participation Age. He led the design and development of the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework in Wales and supported Welsh Government and local authorities to implement it. He is currently leading a research project for the Local Government association into local youth service provision. He has recently been leading work with Welsh Government to re-design and develop a new integrated approach to early years education and care.
Simon has also worked extensively at an international level on a range of education issues. In the US he has supported individual states to implement reforms of their school and higher education systems, specifically in widening access and improving the success of under-represented groups of students. He has also provided support to work on system reform in the Punjab in Pakistan, leading delivery workshops for education district officers across the Punjab.
Prior to Isos, Simon worked in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit leading work on secondary education and the London Challenge programme, as well as further and higher education. He has also worked in the Department of Education in a range of roles related to 14-19 education, school innovation and widening access to higher education.