Founder & CEO
Tom founded the Skills Builder Partnership in 2009, whilst a business and enterprise teacher in Hackney in East London through the Teach First programme. His time in teaching convinced him that there was a fundamental gap in what children and young people were getting out of their education.
As a social enterprise, the Skills Builder Partnership is driven to ensure that students of all backgrounds develop the broader enterprise skills, experiences of the working world and aspirations that they need to be successful, alongside good qualifications. Coming to teaching straight from studying management and economics at the University of Oxford convinced him that critical skills like teamwork, leadership and communication are perfectly teachable for all students.
Now in its tenth year, the Skills Builder Partnership is working with over 85,000 students across the country from bases in London, Birmingham and Manchester. This is made possible through the support of 130 top employers, from NHS hospitals to airports to businesses like PwC and UBS. Recently, the Skills Builder Partnership was named Education Partnership of the Year in the Education Investor awards, recognising the unique classroom contribution of this school and business partnership to transforming students’ enterprise and employability skills.
Tom’s work has been recognised with the Teach First Excellence Award, and he was also the 2009 UK Entrepreneurship Teacher of the Year. Tom has served as a non-executive director of Teach First and has also been recognised as one of the UK’s leading social entrepreneurs by being elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2017.
Tom is a regular speaker at education and social entrepreneurship conferences, both in the UK and internationally – most recently in Mexico, Poland, Estonia and Hong Kong. His first book, The Missing Piece was published by John Catt Publishing in October 2017 and can be ordered here.