Jon Coles

  • Chief Executive of United Learning

Since 2012, Jon Coles has been Chief Executive of United Learning, a group of independent schools and academies established 130 years ago.


Prior to this, his career in the Department for Education included four years on the Board as Director General, first for Schools and then for Education Standards, responsible for a wide range of policy areas, such as the review of the National Curriculum, the Academies Act 2010 and National Challenge.  As Director of 14-19 Reform, he led the drive to raise participation post-16 and attainment at 19, reduce NEET numbers and reform curriculum and qualifications.  As Director of London Challenge, Jon was responsible for developing and implementing the strategy to improve secondary education in London, which also led to similar approaches in other parts of the country.


Jon was responsible for various Green and White Papers and took the 2002 Education Act through Parliament. A qualified secondary teacher, his previous jobs included implementing the infant class size pledge, and a period of cross-government strategy work at the Cabinet Office.

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