Your Schools Week Team

John Dickens, editor

Our team of journalists are passionate about providing our readers with the latest education news.

John Dickens





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

Deputy Editor & Political Editor




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.

JL Dutaut

Commissioning editor



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

Chief reporter




Samantha joined Schools Week as a senior reporter in February 2020 and became chief reporter three years later. Her reporting beat includes exams, education catch-up, SEND and mental health. Her work on SEND and mental health was longlisted for The Paul Foot Award 2022.
Prior to this, she worked at award-winning local newspapers the Camden New Journal and the Croydon Advertiser. Outside of work, you’ll probably find her or on a long walk or with her nose in a good book.

Jessica Hill

Investigations and features reporter




Jessica is investigations and features reporter across Schools Week and FE Week, responsible for deep-dive features and profile interviews across both papers.

So far, she has written features exposing how RAAC use in schools ss making them ‘liable to collapse’, as well as exploring the challenges heads face when teachers strike – and why many small schools are now struggling to survive.

Before that, Jessica was deputy news editor for Local Government Chronicle covering all things council-related (including unpicking their financial woes), and with a particular knack for nailing devolution deal exclusives.

She has also co-written a book about culture in the UAE where she lived for seven years. During that time she worked as a freelance journalist in Abu Dhabi, covering a wide range of issues mainly for the National newspaper – from hypnobirthing to local ambitions to send astronauts to Mars.

Jessica lives just outside Ipswich and is a keen runner. She is hoping against all odds to conquer a 62k race later this year.

Jack Dyson

Senior reporter




Jack joined Schools Week as a senior reporter in April 2023, and has a particular focus on the academy sector.

Beforehand he was working for KentOnline, where he spent more than five years.

During his time there he uncovered a £100 million black market blighting Canterbury’s high street, shortcomings in the gambling industry and how rogue Airbnb owners broke Covid restrictions to earn a quick buck.

He was a joint winner of the young journalist of the year prize at the 2019 Regional Press Awards and has been given Kent print and feature journalist of the year awards.

Jack spends most of his spare time watching Arsenal, rugby union, cricket and films.

Lucas Cumiskey

Senior reporter




Lucas joined Schools Week as a senior reporter in January 2024, having previously worked as a general news reporter at the PA news agency.

His brief includes Ofsted, initial teacher training, the teacher workforce in general and the Early Careers Framework.

Before joining PA, he worked as assistant news editor at Triangle News, a national news agency. His career started at Islington Gazette.