Your Schools Week Team

John Dickens

Editor

Email

John.dickens@schoolsweek.co.uk

twitter @johndickenssw

About

John was appointed editor in September 2018 after returning to the company from a year-long sabbatical where he did a spot of travelling (the only rule was he had to shave off the Cast Away-style beard he had grown over the 12 months).
Prior to this he was chief reporter at the newspaper which he joined in 2015. Along the way he’s picked up various awards including Outstanding National Education Journalist of the Year in 2016 and Most Promising Newcomer to Education Journalism in his first year with us.
When not working, John will almost definitely be cycling or watching cricket.

freddie whittaker

Freddie Whittaker

Chief reporter

Email

freddie@schoolsweek.co.uk

twitter @FCDWhittaker

About

Freddie has been writing about public policy for most of his career, initially as a senior reporter for the Gloucester Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo, and then as the Oxford Mail’s political and local government reporter.

He joined our sister paper, FE Week, in January 2014, and moved to the Schools Week team in August 2015, becoming the paper’s political reporter in January 2016.

Appointed chief reporter in August 2017, Freddie still covers the politics beat, and can often be found tweeting furiously from windowless press rooms at political party and trade union conferences.

He is also a regular contributor to the New Statesman on education policy and political issues.

Freddie lives in south–east London but retains strong ties with his home town of Stroud, Gloucestershire, where he helps run the annual Stroud Fringe festival.

Jess Staufenberg

Commissioning editor

Email

jess.staufenberg@lsect.com

twitter @StaufenbergJ

About

Jess is commissioning editor at FE Week and Schools Week, responsible for the opinion pages in FE Week and deep-dive features and profile interviews across both papers. As a reporter, her investigative work on special educational needs funding, small failing private schools, home education and off-rolling generated national coverage and in 2018 she was shortlisted in the British Journalism awards for specialist media, and came runner-up for most promising newcomer in the 2017 CIPR education journalism awards. In 2019 she researched and fronted a half-hour BBC documentary on a big northern academy trust failure. More recently, she has bagged interviews with former top civil servants, incoming and outgoing Children’s Commissioners, MPs and shadow ministers, and run series of deep-dive features on the government’s careers education plans, squeezed adult education colleges, maths schools and more. Jess has also reported for The Guardian, BBC, The Independent and the Eastern Daily Press.

JL Dutaut

Commissioning editor

Email

JL.Dutaut@lsect.com

About

After 15 years in primary and secondary classrooms, JL rediscovered his first love of writing. His blog, book and a regular column about education all promoted a simple idea: More diversity makes better policy. Now, he’s delivering on that idea as our commissioning editor, helping others to find and use their voice from every corner of the education sector.

Samantha Booth

Senior Reporter

Email

Samantha.Booth@schoolsweek.co.uk

twitter @samanthajbooth

About

Samantha joined Schools Week as a senior reporter in February 2020. Her reporting beat includes exams, education catch-up, SEND and mental health. Prior to this, she worked at award-winning local newspapers the Camden New Journal and the Croydon Advertiser, where she was highly commended for the young reporter of the year at the Regional Press Awards and commended in the top scoop category at the NCTJ Awards. Outside of work, you’ll probably find her or on a long walk or with her nose in a good book.

James Carr

Senior Reporter

Email

james.carr@schoolsweek.co.uk

twitter @JamesCarr_93

About

James joined Schools Week as a senior reporter in November 2019.
His brief includes all things Ofsted, along with pupil premium, EdTech and school safeguarding issues.
Prior to joining the team he worked as a reporter for the Eastern Daily Press and business writer for the East Anglian Daily Times, where he was commended in the top scoop category at the NCTJ Awards for Excellence in Journalism and later picked up the award for best logbook when completing his senior exams.
When not at Schools Week, James can be found reading, having his weekends ruined by Arsenal and talking about himself in the third person.

Tom Belger

Senior Reporter

Email

tom.belger@schoolsweek.co.uk

twitter @tom_belger

About

Tom reports on all things education for Schools Week, but has a particular focus on the academy sector.
He first went into journalism because asking interesting people questions for a living seemed like a pretty good gig.
After studying investigative journalism, he joined Britain’s best regional newspaper, the Liverpool Echo (though he would say that).
He started out writing features on everything from benefit cuts to the history of Scouse. That led to a beat reporting job in several Merseyside towns, covering local government and general news.
He then became an award-winning social affairs correspondent, revealing NHS treatment and bullying scandals, live-blogging high-profile court cases and reporting the human impact of spending cuts.
He has since reported and edited freelance for multiple outlets in London and South America, and spent two years writing news and features about business and economic policy for Yahoo Finance UK.
He has also worked in the charity sector, running programmes for young people to build leadership skills and engage in politics and campaigns.