Shaping Education For The Future

My Personal Profile

I was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, but brought up in Ipswich, Suffolk, attending the Northgate Grammar School for Boys. Following teacher training at Alsager College, and a degree from Keele University, I began teaching English and drama at Wellingborough Grammar School, Northamptonshire. This boys’ school combined with the local girls’ High School in 1975 to become the comprehensive Wrenn School.

In 1976, I became Head of English at the brand new Mildenhall Upper School in West Suffolk, teaching English, drama and media. I became Head of Year for one year in 1983 and Head of Sixth Form and Senior Teacher in 1984.

I was appointed to Sharnbrook Upper School as Deputy Head in 1985, teaching English, drama and media. I introduced, established and led the broad entitlement Creative Arts programme, which became the background to the school’s eventual Media College status.

In 1988 I was appointed Co-ordinating Adviser for the Creative Arts in Oxfordshire, to introduce Tim Brighouse’s vision of an entitlement arts programme for all, and sought ways to bring about a county-wide approach, through visual art, dance, drama and music, until the introduction of the National Curriculum quickly rendered such schemes impossible. Subsequently, I succeeded Ron Arnold as English Adviser, and later took on the role of Inspector for English at the establishment of Ofsted in 1994. Some of my work was alongside Deborah Eyre, later Professor of G&T Education at Warwick University, exploring more able issues. I conducted over 50 school inspections, with a variety of teams.

In 1997, I moved to the post of Adviser of English in Cambridgeshire, introducing the Literacy Strategies to primary and secondary schools. I continued developing my growing expertise in more able provision and support.

Most recently, I took up the post of School Improvement Adviser in the newly created unitary authority of Milton Keynes in 1999. This involved becoming the Attached Adviser to the Bletchley group of primary schools, as well as leading the Literacy Team as the English Adviser, and supervising More Able developments. I retired from full time work with the LA in July 2008, and set up Geoff Dean Education Consultancy Ltd.

I am a prolific reader, especially of novels for young adults. I am an avid film watcher, at the cinema and on DVD, and regularly visit the theatre. I enjoy all sorts of music, particularly that of English composers. I sing in a choir, and am currently fulfilling a life-time ambition of learning to play the piano. The potential of new technologies fascinates me, and I do my poor best to keep up with new inventions and trends. I am devoted to my family: my hardworking wife is a teacher of primary pupils and teaches me much about their ways, and my two grown up children are now beginning their adult working lives after graduating impressively in quite different subjects, through utterly different approaches to their education.