Professor Sonia Blandford is Founder and CEO of the national charity Achievement for All 3As. One of the Uk's leading forces in education, Sonia strives to raise the aspirations of young people. A pioneer in breaking down prejudices, Sonia wants opportunities for all regardless of their background, her influence over the country and excellent work can inspire success in all.
Founder and CEO of the national charity Achievement for All 3As, Professor Sonia Blandford uses her three decades of experience to share with audiences the lessons she has gleaned as one of the UK's leading practitioners of education within the voluntary, community, charity and public sectors. Sonia’s passion for raising the aspirations, success and achievement of all children led to her being listed in this year's Debrett's 500 in the Education sector for 2016. She is an advisor to the UK government, European Commission and international governments, representing the Department for Education as expert adviser on education throughout Europe.
She focuses on providing the leadership in schools to create equal chances for all. She is also Chair of the Blackpool Challenge.
Starting out as a music teacher Sonia has held senior leadership posts in primary and secondary schools across the UK. She led national and international teacher and leadership development programmes as Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean at Canterbury Christ Church University and Assistant Dean at Oxford Brookes University.
Sonia currently holds the post of Professor of Education and Social Enterprise at the Institute of Education in London, and as Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University. Her publications include over 200 articles, columns and books on educational leadership, special educational needs, teaching and learning, professional development and music education. She is an advisor to the UK government, European Commission and international governments, representing the Department for Education as expert adviser on a pan-European Raising Achievement for All project.
Sonia’s parents were illiterate, and she was the first member of her family to pursue education beyond the age of 14. She lost her mother when she took an accidental over dose, when she couldn’t read the doctor’s prescription. This tragic failing serves as a constant reminder to Sonia that her work is crucial, and she is among the minority in Debrett’s list of the Top 500 people of influence to have been state educated.
The impact of Achievement for All has been enormous. Outcomes in reading, writing, and maths, as well as behaviour in Primary and Secondary schools have improved dramatically.
Sonia is a passionate believer in all children being able to make progress regardless of the challenges they face. She speaks about Narrowing the Gap and Raising Attainment but also on Leadership in Schools and how to encourage Parental Engagement.