John Blake

Curriculum Design Lead, Ark Schools
Speaking at


Coherent curriculum programmes — how and why they can improve teaching and reduce workload

England’s education policy world loves to debate what should be in the National Curriculum, but it has been much less successful in ensuring fidelity of implementation to whatever plans are agreed. In this session, John Blake will discuss his work as a teacher, think tank head of education and now multi-academy trust curriculum designer in seeking to solve that problem with detailed “oven ready” resources, rooted in disciplinary thinking and backed by training. He’ll discuss both how that should work and some of the common objections to these ideas, and explain why he thinks this can improve teaching and reduce workload.


John Blake has been a teacher, middle and senior school leader, teacher trainer policy researcher and curriculum designer. Now he does a mixture of all those things in two different jobs, as Curriculum Design Lead at Ark Schools and Director of Policy and Strategy at Now Teach.