Jean Else (born c. 1950) is an English former educator and headteacher, who garnered both acclaim and notoriety over the course of her long teaching career. She is a bi-weekly columnist for the Manchester Evening News.
Jean Else took over Whalley Range High School in Manchester in 1994 when the girls' comprehensive school had the worst truancy rate in England and Wales. During her headship, truancy was cut to below the national average, pupil numbers were almost doubled, and GCSE results improved from 16% to 34% of pupils getting the top grades. School inspectors called it "a very good school with many strengths and few weaknesses ... exceptionally well led and very efficiently managed and administered".
Else spent 10 years turning the school into one of the most high profile schools in Manchester. In November 2004, however, she and several other senior staff members were suspended from duty, pending an investigation by Manchester City Council after allegations were made by the Audit Commission following their own two-year investigation.
Else pursued a lengthy battle to return to the school but was finally dismissed in August 2006, along with her sister, Maureen Rochford, who had risen from a part-time clerical assistant at the school to assistant head, and Stewart Scott, director of governance, following allegations of nepotism and questionable management. Whalley Range High School is now run by former Parrs Wood headteacher Patsy Kane.
On 8 February 2011, the decision of the Honours Forfeiture Committee was announced in the London Gazette that Else's DBE, which had been awarded in 2001, had been revoked. She is the only woman created a Dame (of any order of British female knighthood) to date to have the honour revoked.
In 2006 Else was working on three books to tell her side of her experiences.
- "Caught in the Headlights". DfES. 1999. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- "Heads honoured for reviving schools". BBC. 2000-09-30. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- "'Super head' criticised in report". BBC. 2005-10-25. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- "Super-head Jean is sacked". Manchester Evening News. 2006-08-23. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- "London Gazette 59694 p2151". London Gazette. 8 February 2011.
- "Manchester "super head" Dame has honour revoked". BBC News. 9 February 2011.
- "Sacked headteacher to write book". BBC. 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- "Imperial War Museum". Prime Minister's Office. 2003-03-24. Retrieved 2008-02-23.