Sir Michael Barber is a leading authority on education systems and education reform. Over the past two decades his research and advisory work has focused on school improvement, standards and performance; system-wide reform; effective implementation; access, success and funding in higher education; and access and quality in schools in developing countries.
Barber recently joined Pearson as Chief Education Advisor, leading Pearson’s worldwide program of research into education policy and efficacy, advising on and supporting the development of products and services that build on the research findings, and playing a particular role in Pearson’s strategy for education in the poorest sectors of the world, particularly in fast-growing developing economies.
Prior to Pearson, he was a Partner at McKinsey & Company and Head of McKinsey’s global education practice. He co-authored two major McKinsey education reports: “How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better” (2010) and “How the world’s best-performing schools come out on top” (2007). He is also Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Exeter.
He previously served the UK government as Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit (from 2001-2005) and as Chief Adviser to the Secretary of State for Education on School Standards (from 1997-2001). Before joining government he was a Professor at the Institute of Education at the University of London. He is the author of several books including Instruction to Deliver; The Learning Game: Arguments for an Education Revolution and How to do the Impossible: a Guide for Politicians with a Passion for Education.