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Sir Michael John Tomlinson CBE (born 17 October 1942 in Rotherham) is the chair of the Working Group for 14–19 Reform which has been commissioned by the British Government to look into reform of the syllabus and qualifications structure for 14- to 19-year-olds in the English education system.
He studied for a BSc in chemistry at the University of Durham before going on to do a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at the University of Nottingham, followed by 12 years in the classroom as a science teacher, including some time on secondment to Imperial Chemical Industries as a schools liaison officer in 1977.
He was a chemistry teacher at the Henry Mellish Grammar School (now called Henry Mellish School and Specialist Sports College) on Highbury Road in Bulwell, Nottingham from 1965-9. From 1969-77, he was head of chemistry at Ashby-de-la-Zouch Grammar School (a comprehensive school and now called Ashby School) in Leicestershire.
In 1978 he joined Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools (now Ofsted) and, in this capacity, helped to re-establish the education system in Kuwait following the first Gulf War. In 1989, he became chief inspector (secondary). In November 2000 when Chris Woodhead resigned, he became Chief Inspector of Schools, a post which he held until his retirement in 2002.
Shortly after his retirement, he led an enquiry (the Tomlinson Enquiry) into the controversy surrounding A-level grading, and was then appointed chair of the 14–19 Working Group in 2003. He is also a governor of the University of Hertfordshire, a member of the boards of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and the National Assessment Agency, a member of the Public Engagement group of the Science Museum, and a fellow and a member of the council of the Royal Society of Arts. Since 2008, he has been chief adviser for London Schools in the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
In 1965 he married Maureen Janet Tupling in Rotherham. They have a son (born 1968) and a daughter (born 1970). His children initially went to comprehensive schools, but later went to grammar schools.
|Chief Inspector at Ofsted
- Working Group on 14–19 Reform
- Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
- The RSA
- The Science Museum
- Interview with Sir Mike Tomlinson 2008
- Honorary doctorate from the University of Wolverhampton