Our Patron


Mick Waters works with the schools in several parts of the UK and abroad. His work at Wolverhampton University with the Black Country Challenge has extended and developed innovative approaches to learning and initiatives to push the boundaries for making learning better.  We are honoured that Mick has been a great supporter of our conferences and our The Marches Academy Trust.

During his career, Mick has been a teacher and head teacher before working at senior levels in Birmingham and Manchester Local Authorities. He worked at a national level with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority where he was Director of Curriculum.  Over several years he has been asked to work in countries across the globe either with national governments or directly with schools to develop revised policy and practice for leadership, governance and classroom teaching.

Recent involvement has seen Mick working at national policy level with the Welsh Government offering advice and support to the education reform agenda. He is an Honorary Professor of Practice at the University of Wales Trinity St David. Mick chaired an Independent Review of School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions for the Welsh Government with some exciting new proposals for teachers’ careers and professional learning. This followed on from work he did in helping to produce new Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership…and more recently, Assisting Teaching. Recently he has been chairing a panel to produce early recommendations about the way the system needs to amend habits, routines and traditions to enable more family friendly approaches for the modern age: ‘Schooling re-imagined’. He has also carried out a review to provide advice on the arrangements for the induction period for newly qualified teachers and how best to support their professional learning. The report is called ‘Learning to Be a Teacher In Wales’.

Mick supports several educational causes. He is a patron of Values Based Education, which encourages schools to consider values in all they do, and of SAPERE which promotes Philosophy for Children as a route to learning. Mick is also a patron of the Curriculum Foundation, which seeks to promote a voice for the power and potential of the whole curriculum. Mick supports the National Association for Environmental Education as a vice president and is also a vice chair of the CoEd Foundation which promotes compassionate education.

Mick believes that learning should be treasured and valued and that it needs to be shaped to fit with children’s lives as well as structured to help society meet the promise of the future.  People in schools need to set understandings of their children alongside the learning they should meet to create learning that is irresistible and sets them well for their futures.

Mick believes in being close to teachers, children and schools, and is often to be found in the classroom working with children.  He has written and contributed to many books on the curriculum, teaching and learning, and leadership, as well as making presentations at numerous national and international conferences.  He is passionate about the role of education in improving life chances for pupils.  He enjoys asking adults to look at learning through the eyes of a pupil.


The Future of Education with Mick Waters

Professor Michael Waters is an inspiration to many, including our host Sarah Finch (CEO of Marches Academy Trust). Mick was the Director of Curriculum at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, based in London, from 2005-9.

In this podcast he shares his thoughts on what education could/should look like in the future and what the true purpose of education is. He poses some thought-provoking questions to us, shares some heart warming stories about being a teacher and tells us why it’s the best job in the world.