John Blake, the head of education and social reform at the Policy Exchange thinktank, is to join Ark multi-academy trust and Now Teach.
Mr Blake will join Ark as curriculum design lead, but he will also take on the role of director of strategy and policy for Now Teach – an Ark-incubated venture that aims to encourage experienced professionals to retrain as teachers.
A former activist for the NUT teaching union, who founded the grassroots network Labour Teachers, Mr Blake joined the centre-right thinktank Policy Exchange in January 2017.
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.”
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.”
Commenting on his appointment, Mr 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."
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.”