David Thomas was the youngest secondary school headteacher in the country when he was appointed to lead Jane Austen College in 2018. Under his leadership the school achieved a great first set of GCSE results, and the best A-level results of any state school in the city. He led the school through the pandemic, ensuring that education continued uninterrupted despite school closures.
During 2020 David co-founded Oak National Academy, a national online school to ensure every child had the opportunity to benefit from online learning during school closures. Oak launched in under two weeks and delivered over 100 million lessons in its first year.
David was awarded an OBE for services to education in 2020, and was one of a handful of local leaders invited to turn on the Norwich Christmas lights that year.
He has since worked as the senior advisor to five Secretaries of State for Education, where he helped create the government's plan for special needs education (including £2.6 billion to build new special schools), bring schools under the Energy Bill Relief Scheme after Putin's invasion of Ukraine, and re-launch exams as normal after the pandemic.
He is now CEO of an education charity, supporting schools in Norfolk and beyond.