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Graham Clifford

A highly experienced Head with over fifteen years of leadership and governance experience in Primary

My Story

Graham is a highly experienced Head with over fifteen years of leadership and governance experience in Primary, All-through (3 to 16, Early Years to Key Stage 5), Secondary, Sixth Form and Pupil Referral Unit settings. Graham has led in both Academy and Local Authority schools. He led a failing Primary to achieve Outstanding and specialises in change management. Graham is a passionate advocate for the Arts, Social Justice and Philosophy for Children (P4C). 

Graham is a visionary leader with an unwavering commitment to teaching children not what to think, but how to think. He is an innovative leader with specialisms which include: change management; leadership development at all levels; community engagement; systemic design, and; highly impactful strategic planning to enable swift and sustainable school improvement.


Synthesising the most up to date research with national and international educational trends, Graham has enabled schools to reflect and grow into dynamic and highly successful organisations. His balance of pragmatism with the belief that education is be transformative for individuals and the global community, makes Graham a sought after mentor for senior leaders. 


Graham has high levels of expertise and success in business management, human resources, asset development and marketing and branding. 


Education and Professional Development


BA (Hons) Fine Art; Masters in Creative Writing with European Philosophy; PGCE (Primary); National Professional Qualification in Headship (NPQH); National Professional Qualification in Executive Leadership (NPQEL) – in progress. 



Management and Governance Experience 

  • Primary Head, leading school from Special Measures 2014 to Outstanding 2017

  • Secondary Head, restructuring and formalising Academy family resemblances 

  • Change management experience includes leading through: infant/junior amalgamation; primary/secondary amalgamation; academisation of Local Authority schools

  • Consultant in Primary and Pupil Referral Unit settings 

  • Local Authority project management

  • Primary, All-through and Secondary Governance experience 

  • Systems innovation for Academy Trust

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