Russell Hobby was born and raised in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, attending St Nicholas CE Primary (where his mother taught for twenty-three years) and John Mason Secondary School. He studied philosophy, politics and economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, graduating with a first class degree in 1993. He also played a lot of rugby at school and college.
In 1998, he joined the management consultancy Hay Group. Within a year of joining, Russell was working on education projects, including research into teacher effectiveness for the then DfES. This was the start of his strong association with issues of leadership and management in schools. In 2000, he helped to set up Transforming Learning – a ‘dot com’ business unit dedicated to collecting pupil feedback on classroom climate via the internet. Transforming Learning was used in over 2000 schools. In 2003 he founded Hay Group’s education practice, leading a team of consultants working directly with leadership teams in hundreds of schools of every phase, size and location, as well as government agencies.
Russell’s experience spanning education, private industry and government has made him a passionate advocate of the quality of leadership in our schools, and he has had frequent opportunity to spread the word on the lessons that business could learn from education. Taking up the post as General Secretary of the NAHT, in September 2010, has given him the opportunity to campaign directly for the conditions that enable people to be great leaders in our schools.
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