Philip Bujak

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Philip Bujak
Philip Bujak MCI Offices 2011.jpg
Bujak at MCI Offices 2011
Born Philip Edwin Bujak
(1960 -02-17) 17 February 1960 (age 56)
Norfolk, United Kingdom
Residence United Kingdom
Nationality British
Alma mater University of East Anglia
Occupation Educationalist and author
Years active 2014 – present
Awards Pro Memoria Medal Medal Pro Memoria
The Order pro merito Melitensi (Cross) Order pro merito Melitensi
Honorary Freedom of the City of London
Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Gardener's
and the Guild of Educators

Philip Edwin Bujak (born 17 February 1960) is an educationalist and commentator on Anglo Polish affairs.[1] He is a former CEO of the Montessori St Nicholas Charity[2][3] and a leading proponent of the Montessori movement within the UK.[4][5][6][7][7][8][9][10][11][12] As CEO of Montessori St Nicholas Charity he was responsible for the founding of the Montessori Schools Association,[13] the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board, and a leader in the drive for the creation of state funded Montessori schools.[14][15][16][17]


Bujak was Head of History at Langley School in Norfolk from 1983–1988, then Head of Lower & Middle School and Boarding Housemaster from 1988–1993 before moving to become Headmaster of Stover School for Girls[18] (1993–2003).[19][20] He expanded the school from 120 to 535 pupils and opened Stover Preparatory School in 1998.[21]


In 2003 Bujak was appointed Chief Executive of the Montessori St Nicholas Charity in London and became responsible for the largest aspect of the Montessori movement across the United Kingdom. In 2005 he founded The Montessori Schools Association which now has approx 700 Montessori schools in membership. Also in 2005, Bujak secured a deal with Manchester Local Authority to create the first ever state Montessori school at Gorton Mount.[14] In 2008 he created The Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board which is now the leading Montessori accreditation scheme in Europe, with 152 leading Montessori schools in membership. In 2009 he also became managing director of Montessori Centre International which is the largest Montessori training college in Europe. In 2012 Bujak led a Montessori bid which was successful in securing the first DfE contract for Montessori[22] with the Charity providing parenting classes funded by central government in Camden, London. In December 2102 Bujak was at the forefront of launching the Montessori Manifesto 2012–2015, which is a major national initiative funded by the St Nicholas Charity, to take Montessori practice out into the most challenged inner city communities across the UK. Bujak left the Montessori school in 2014, being escorted from the premises by the trustees. Following this he was subsequently charged with fraud whilst in his position as CEO, he is awaiting trial for this offence and others which will be heard at Southwark Crown court in July 2016

In 2013 Bujak also expanded the reach of the St Nicholas Charity into Poland with the opening of a new office in Warsaw and the launch of a new on line course in Polish. This is the latest of a series of European initiatives also sponsored by the St Nicholas Charity.

Charitable activities[edit]

Bujak was co-founder of The Polish Heritage Society UK in 2009[23][24] and has recently stood down as vice-chairman to remain as a member. Bujak has worked on a number of restoration projects such as the repair and erection of a statue of Frederyk Chopin at the South Bank Centre (a gift from the people of Poland in the 1970s that had been allowed to fall into disrepair)[25] and the placing of a plaque to commemorate the London home of Stanislaw Sosabowski in Chiswick.[26] In 2013 Bujak led the initiative to place another plaque at 51 New Cavendish Street to mark the London headquarters of the Polish Navy during 1939–1945, unveiled in November 2013 by Witold Sobkow, the Polish ambassador.[27][28]

In 2102 he began the personal financing of the restoration of a portrait of Edward Rydz-Śmigły by the artist, Jan Hawrylkiewicz. This painting is the second of what is a commitment by Bujak to restore two such artworks a year[29] and followed his restoration of the iconic Battle of Britain painting 'Return from a Successful Sortie' by Artur Horowicz.

In 2011 he was awarded the Pro Memoria Medal by the Republic of Poland in recognition of this work.[30] For his fundraising activities he was awarded the Order pro merito Melitensi (cross) by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta[31] and in 2010 he was granted the Freedom of the City of London.[32][33] Bujak is also vice-president of the Conservative Friends of Poland (CFoP).[34]

He has been a regional committee member for the National Trust covering Devon & Cornwall, a past trustee of the Silvanus Woodland Trust,[35] and Chairman of Governors for Christchurch Primary School in London.[36]

In memory of his father, Bujak set up the J.F. Bujak Trust,[37] which currently supports Sixth Form students at his old comprehensive school who need funding to undertake education-based travel around the world.

Between 2005–2009, Bujak ran annual residential leadership courses for prospective Headteachers at St Edmund's College, Oxford and was appointed to the Skills & Crafts Commission on reforming apprenticeships.


Bujak maintains a strong interest in writing and in 1988 co-authored Norfolk & Suffolk in The Great War.[38] In 1990 he published Attleborough – The Evolution of a Town,[39] and in 2008 Undefeated – The Extraordinary Life & Death of Lt Col. Jack Sherwood Kelly VC,CMG, DSO.[40]

In 2007 Bujak published 'Around The World in 100 Years' which was a celebration of the centenary of Montessori and its world wide appeal.

He has also written,[4] and contributed to, several articles published in The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, Evening Standard, and other publications.[5][6][7][7][8][9][10][11][12] He is also a commentator on Anglo-Polish relations and history of the Polish people in the UK.[41][42][43][44] He is a regular contributor to Res Publica and Visegrad Insight – two academic journals published from Warsaw.

Territorial army[edit]

Bujak enlisted as a private in 1982 and was commissioned into the 6th (V) Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment in 1983 and served as platoon commander to a Royal Norfolk Company alongside his teaching career until leaving the army with the rank of captain in 2003.[45]

Early life[edit]

Jan Felix Bujak
Serving with 3rd Carpathian Division, 2nd Corps of the Polish Army 1944.

His father, Jan Felix Bujak, studying as a linguist in Poland entered captivity with the German Army on the outbreak of war in September 1939. Forced to initially work with the Todt Organisation and subsequently with the Wehrmacht in Italy, he escaped and joined the Polish Army serving with 3rd Carpathian Division, 2nd Corps. He fought at Monte Cassino and was awarded the Krzyz Welecznych (Cross of Valour).[citation needed] His mother, Phyliss Bujak, came from a farming and Worsted manufacturing family in Norfolk and became an Honorary Freeman of the City of London for her charity work aged 82, in 2012. After entering the Army at the age of 16 he was persuaded to become a teacher and attended the University of East Anglia 1979–1982 reading history. He trained for his teacher's certificate at Keswick Hall in Norfolk.

Personal life[edit]

Bujak is a former liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Gardener's.[46][47] He retired through ill health in 2014.


  1. ^ "Polish Forces Memorial". May 1944 - May 2014 - time to celebrate the Poles in Norfolk. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "Team Profiles". Montessori St Nicholas. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Philip Edwin Bujak – Director Summary – Montessori St Nicholas". Company Check Ltd. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ a b Bujak, Philip (5 May 2010). "Election winner must not treat education as a political football". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Cassidy, Sarah (July 2012). "Bringing up baby, the Montessori way". The Independent. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Henry, Julie (March 2012). "Ditch the "naughty step", says new parenting guide". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d McCormack, Steve (March 2006). "Montessori: The startling success of progressive teaching methods". The Independent. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Ross, Tim (July 2009). "Tories to offer alternative state education at Montessori schools". Evening Standards. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Rafferty, Frances (July 2008). "Declaring independence". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Ward, Helen (July 2010). "Early years review 'too narrow', experts warn". TES Editorial. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Gaunt, Catherine (July 2010). "Sector quick to respond to the EYFS review". Nursery World. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Gaunt, Catherine (December 2010). "Code of Practice interpreted differently among local authorities". Nuresery World. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "Montessori Schools Association" (PDF). Independent Schools Yearbook. Retrieved 30 July 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  14. ^ a b Bawden, Anna (7 September 2005). "First Montessori state school opens". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Essex primary becomes first state Montessori school". Scholastic. January 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  16. ^ Garner, Richard (February 2010). "First-ever Montessori state school planned". The Independent. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  17. ^ Philip, Bujak. "Montessori chief gives up on dream of Montessori primary schools after finding 'levels of resistance' too much". Retrieved 3 July 2013.  External link in |work= (help)
  18. ^ "Stover School". Stover School Ltd. Retrieved 15 October 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  19. ^ "T.E.S.". TES Teaching Resources. TSL Education Ltd. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  20. ^ "Headteacher Philip Bujak said Olesya was one of three scholarship girls who came to the school under the Eastern European scholarship scheme run by the Headmasters' Conference.". Birmingham Post. August 1999. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  21. ^ "Stover Preparatory School". Stover School Ltd. Retrieved 15 October 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  22. ^ Gaunt, Catherine (29 March 2012). "The Montessori Schools Association, Coram and the National Childbirth Trust are among 14 organisations chosen to run parenting classes in a Government-funded trial from April". Nursey World. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  23. ^ "PHS Directors, Honorary Officers and Trustees". The Polish Heritage Society. The Polish Heritage Society UK Ltd. Registered Charity No. 1143791. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  24. ^ "POLISH HERITAGE SOCIETY – List of Trustees". Open Charities. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  25. ^ "Duke of Gloucester unveils Southbank Chopin statue". The Polish Heritage Society. Retrieved 4 October 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  26. ^ "Plaque unveiled in memory of Major-General Stanislaw Sosabowski,". The Polish Heritage Society UK Ltd. Retrieved 4 October 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  27. ^ Bujak, Philip. "Plaque Unveiled at Polish Navy WWII HQ in London". The Polish Heritage Society UK Ltd. Retrieved 16 December 2013.  External link in |work= (help)
  28. ^ "Plaque commemorating Polish Navy unveiled". Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London. Retrieved 16 December 2013.  External link in |work= (help)
  29. ^ "Restoration of important Polish artworks in the UK". The Polish Heritage Society UK Ltd. Retrieved 30 March 2013.  External link in |work= (help)
  30. ^ "Pro Memoria Medal awarded to PHS members". The Polish Heritage Society. The Polish Heritage Society UK Ltd. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  31. ^ Stella-Sawicki, Dr Marek. "The Meritum Melitensi Cross awarded to Philip Bujak". Association of Polish Knights of Malta UK. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  32. ^ "Freedom of London for Attleborough man". EDP 24. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  33. ^ "Freedom of London for Attleborough man". Mercury24. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  34. ^ "Who we are". Conservative Friends of Poland. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  35. ^ "THE SILVANUS TRUST". Company Check Ltd. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  36. ^ "Ofsted School inspection report – 2011" (PDF). Ofsted. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  37. ^ "The J F Bujak Travel Bursary". Attleborough High School. Retrieved 3 December 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  38. ^ Bujak, Philip (1998). Norfolk & Suffolk in the Great War. UK: Gliddon Books. ISBN 0947893075. 
  39. ^ Bujak, Philip (1990). Attleborough – The Evolution of a Town. UK: Poppyland Publishing. ISBN 0946148457. 
  40. ^ Bujak, Philip (2008). Undefeated: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Lt. Col. Jack Sherwood-Kelly VC, DSO, CMG. UK: Forster Consulting. ISBN 978-0955190223. 
  41. ^ "May 1944 – May 2004 Time to celebrate the Poles in Norfolk". 
  42. ^ "Poles in the UK must now be seen and heard". 
  43. ^ "Playing into the hands of UKIP". 
  44. ^ "Scottish independence and the Polish vote". 
  45. ^ Bujak, Philip. "John Housego obituary. Philip Bujak quoted". 4th Norfolks Comrade Association. Retrieved 2 August 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  46. ^ "The Livery & Freedom". he Worshipful Company of Gardeners. Retrieved 31 August 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  47. ^ "Up to date detail of members & events". The Worshipful Company of Gardeners. Retrieved 31 August 2012.  External link in |work= (help)