Gareth Williams-James Associate

Gareth was one of the first Virtual School Heads in the country, establishing a virtual school service in Suffolk in 2005 which he led for ten years.

During this time, Gareth advised the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) on the specification for the Virtual School Head pilot and was an associate to the department for the Boarding Pathfinder. He remains a voluntary member of the DfE’s Boarding Partnerships Advisory Group.

Also during his time with Suffolk County Council, Gareth was a Sector Specialist for the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes (hosted by the National Children’s Bureau) and worked alongside partners other local authorities to improve outcomes for children.

Gareth has worked independently since 2015, providing consultancy and interim management to local authorities. He has been Virtual School Head for three large authorities and provided additional capacity and consultancy in several others. Gareth’s teaching experience covers primary and secondary phase in both special and mainstream schools. He has been Vice-Chair of a primary school governing body. His final school role was as Director of Studies for a large comprehensive school and from this he moved to local authority work to focus on improving educational outcomes for children in care and in need.

Gareth is a consultant for the Royal National Children’s Springboard Foundation, he is the author of the Anspear app, Designated Teachers, and he is a member of the governing body for a pair of linked Virtual Schools.

Gareth brings experience to wider children’s services with skills developed as a conference speaker, trainer, team builder and vice-chair of a fostering panel.

gareth.williams-james@aspiringforchildren.co.uk