Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Farewell to John Dunford

John Dunford

This is the last issue of Leader before the retirement of General Secretary John Dunford on 31 August.

In his 12 years in post, John has led the association with a clear vision and unwavering commitment. Thanks in great part to his leadership, ASCL has been one of the most important and influential organisations in education.

His influence on education policy through the last ten years was summed up by Alan Johnson, as secretary of state for education, at the start of his speech to ASCL's 2007 annual conference, the year that Malcolm Trobe was president: "You may not like some government policies, but you should see what John and Malcolm stop us from doing."

John has seen the association more than double in size, extend membership to business managers and other senior support staff and change its name to better reflect the makeup of the membership.

He outlasted six secretaries of state and saw many more junior ministers come and go. He knows hundreds, if not thousands, of ASCL members by name and was often called upon by journalists, off the record, to translate into layman's terms the latest government policy.

He will be keenly missed by everyone at headquarters and we wish him the utmost success in his future endeavours.

Brian Lightman will take over as general secretary on 1 September and has been busy preparing to take on the role while finishing his headship of St Cyres School in Cardiff. He has spent several days at headquarters in Leicester and in London with John meeting key individuals.

He says he is looking forward to meeting with members this autumn through the information conferences and guiding ASCL through the uncharted waters of the coalition government while retaining its place as the leading association for secondary school and college leaders.

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