Edward Vainker

United Kingdom

  • Program Year
  • 2008-09
  • Country of Current Residence
  • United Kingdom
  • City/Town of Current Residence
  • London
  • Current Position
  • Principal
  • Organization
  • Reach Academy Feltham
  • Profession(s)
  • Educator

  • Sector(s)
  • Academia, Community, Education
  • Language(s)
  • English
  • Mentor
  • Dr. Lynn Butler-Kisber
  • Interest(s) / Expertise
  • education, educational equality, mentorship
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Ed is the Principal at Reach Academy, a new state-funded school in the UK called Reach Academy Feltham that he and Jon McIntosh (Sauvé Fellow 2007-08) opened in September 2012. The vision for the school is that with the right support, all children, regardless of background, can achieve great things at school, reach University if they wish to and live happy and fulfilled lives. The school is situated in a neighbourhood that is in the 10% most deprived in the UK and many of the pupils that attend the school come from challenging backgrounds. There are presently 420 pupils at the school, which includes a nursery, and that number will rise to 900 over the next few years. It is an all-through school, taking children from 2 or 3 years old in the nursery through to 18 years old.

Prior to setting up Reach Academy Feltham with Jon McIntosh and Rebecca Cramer, Ed was based in Washington DC, helping to train outstanding teachers around the world. Previously, Edward had held a variety of jobs and leadership roles in the education sector in the United Kingdom. For four years he taught at two inner city secondary schools in London through a new scheme called Teach First, which places outstanding graduates as teachers in disadvantaged secondary schools across the United Kingdom. Through Teach First, Edward taught French, History and Literacy to students struggling to pass their standardized exams, and took on leadership roles in the management of his secondary school. He was on the leadership team at his secondary school and was also involved in training new teachers at Canterbury Christchurch University, and mentoring new teachers in classroom settings. Edward has also consulted on curriculum design and teacher training and worked with different agencies to improve access to prestigious British universities for students from diverse backgrounds.

Upon completing the Sauvé Program, Ed joined Teach for All as Director of Teacher Preparation, Support and Development. The organization supports social entrepreneurs all around the world in setting up programs to get bright young graduates to go into schools in high poverty areas and develop a lifelong commitment in the graduates to fighting for educational equality. Ed’s role was to advise these organizations on the way they support and train teachers. Ed studied history at Cambridge University and has a Masters in comparative education.


As a Fellow

Ed investigated how different education systems cater for those with specific learning difficulties and how they ensure that the most able students gain access to the most prestigious academic universities. Ed’s mentor was Dr. Lynn Butler-Kisber, associate professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education; and Director of the Centre for Educational Leadership and of the Graduate Certificate Programs in Educational Leadership.

In May 2015, Ed was awarded an Alumni Collaboration Fund grant, alongside his project partner, Sauvé Fellow Jon McIntosh to help fund a documentary on educational disadvantage in the UK.