John was Chairman of the Conservative Education Society from 2018-20. He has almost fifty years' experience of teaching, advisory work, inspection, research and writing. He has written two books on the teaching of reading and spelling, The Literacy File (joint winner of the United Kingdom Reading Association Donald Moyle Award, 1997), and Using Phonics to Teach Reading and Spelling (Sage). John has written extensively for The Times Educational Supplement and Guardian Education, and was lead author of A Book of My Own (Who Cares? Trust 1995), and Faith Schools We Can Trust (Policy Exchange, 2010).
John has led or taken part in almost 200 inspections and school reviews, has contributed to training for teachers and inspectors, and has been a member of many Government working parties on languages and literacy. He ran a local authority advisory centre for literacy for 13 years, and was Languages Consultant for the Hackney Learning Trust from 2005-2011. He is founder of a charity, A Book of My Own, which provides books of their choice to children in care, and to those who might otherwise not have them. He offers free help with educational problems through his website, www.johnbald.typepad.com.