His claim to fame?
The first "superhead" to be appointed under the Government's Fresh Start programme for failing schools. Became one of the highest-paid heads in the state sector at pound;70,000 a year.
To turn George Orwell School, a notorious comp in Islington, into an inner-city miracle called Islington arts and media school. Motto: "Today's education for tomorrow's world."
Did he look the part?
Variously described as "a charismatic enthusiast", "gentle giant" and "genial Berliner".
Did he get any help in this mammoth venture?
Some: pound;8 million promised from the council for rebuilding, refurbishment, equipment; Andrew Adonis, Blair's education adviser, was on the board of governors; opening ceremony performed by David Blunkett ... and a BBC2 team.
Did he succeed?
No, as the resulting TV documentary, Head on the Block, revealed. But by then he'd resigned.
A hard core of 300 difficult pupils was left from the old days; fights broke out between Turkish and black pupils forcing him to install CCTV ad guards; building work dragged on and the new Lib-Dem regime cancelled funding for redevelopment. He was working 16-hour days.
What did the pundits say?
"A personal tragedy for a hard-working idealist." "A walking illustration of the dangers of so-called progressive education."
What is he doing now?
Co-founded a company called Education Futures to advise on how to adapt pedagogy for children in the future. (www.efdot. com).
Does he still want to teach?
Oh yes. "I miss it drastically. I would like to find a situation where I feel I can make a significant difference; maybe an inner-city school where I can motivate and create self-confidence in the children."
Born, Berlin, 1951, son of a political journalist Educated: Free University, Berlin, studied maths and geography, but failed English so didn't get degree 1972-74: language assistant at Shenfield school, Essex 1974-78: Reading University, BA in German and English, then PGCE 1977-1990: Taught in Midlands and Herts 1990-1995: Vice-principal, BRIT School, Croydon 1995-1999: Head, Great Cornard School, Sudbury, Suffolk 1999-2000: Principal of Islington Arts and Media School