Areas of educational interest: How education can help deliver social equality and expand the choices available to people.
Why I’m involved in EFF: Education Fast Forward offers a real opportunity to debate issues that are critical to a successful education system. We must all be champions of change to ensure the future of our students and to maintain the UK’s position as one of the world’s leading education systems. The sharing of knowledge, experience and expertise is one of the keys to maintaining that position.
David Puttnam spent 30 years as an independent film producer. His many award-winning films include The Mission, The Killing Fields, Local Hero, Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone and Memphis Belle.
David retired from film production in 1998 and now focuses on his work in education and the environment. He is Chancellor of the Open University and, in 1998, he founded the National Teaching Awards, which he chaired until October 2008. David also served as the first Chair of the General Teaching Council (2000–2002) and on a variety of other public bodies. He was founding Chair of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, and, for ten years, chaired the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, as well as serving as a Trustee of both the Tate Gallery and the Science Museum. He has also recently become a Trustee of the Eden Project. David was Vice-President and Chair of Trustees at BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television Arts) from 1994 to 2004, and was awarded a BAFTA Fellowship in 2006.
David was appointed President of UNICEF UK in July 2002 and played a key role in promoting UNICEF’s advocacy, awareness and fundraising objectives. He retired from this post in July 2009.
In February 2006, David became Deputy Chairman of Channel 4 and, in April 2006, Chairman of Futurelab. In April 2007, he became the Chairman of Profero, serving in that capacity until 2009 when he became Deputy Chairman. In 2007, he served as Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Climate Change Bill Scrutiny Committee. Also in 2007, David was appointed as Chairman of North Music Trust, The Sage Gateshead. Most recently, he was made President of the FDA.
David was awarded a CBE in 1982, received a knighthood in 1995 and was appointed to the House of Lords in 1997. In France, he has been honored as a Chevalier (‘85), Officer (’92) and, most recently (2006), Commander of Arts and Letters.
On education, David says: “I am interested in how education can help deliver social equality and I believe that a first-class education immensely expands the choices available to people. Education transforms lives and opens doors. Good teachers are the lifeblood of a strong education system. Investment in Continuing Professional Development is essential if teachers are to be encouraged to flourish to the very best of their ability.”