John is a former secondary teacher and primary head teacher in three schools in Hertfordshire and Harrogate.

From 1986 to 2014, John worked at the University of York St John, (formerly the University College of Ripon and York) where he was Head of Education and Professional Studies/Chair of Education from 1992 to 1997. Following retirement from full time work in 1997 John continued as an external tutor and also as an OfSTED inspector and a SIAS inspector. John also worked as an external adviser for the performance management of head teachers for six years.

John serves as a governor in primary and secondary schools. He has been a Trustee for 18 years. In his spare time, John enjoys walking holidays, going to the theatre and being with his seven grandchildren.