Having successfully led schools with large examination cohorts for some twenty one years, Sir Iain co-founded Future Leaders as part of a National College / ARK jointly funded initiative. Through this work he has developed close relationships with Principals of Charter Schools in New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington and New Orleans and has developed a greater understanding of how these schools have been closing the achievement gap between student potential and actual achievement through character development. He has led several study tours to the U.S.A. in order that headteachers in England can observe this good practice and has delivered many keynote presentations to conferences in England on narrowing the achievement gap in urban schools.
In 2012 he relinquished his work with Future Leaders to found the ‘Great Schools Trust’ with the intention of setting up a small chain of innovative ‘great’ Free Schools in the North West of England. His first Free School ‘King’s Leadership Academy, Warrington, opened in September 2012. The academy is based on the best practices found in both Charter Schools and the English independent school system. His aim was to demonstrate that if you educated children from disadvantaged backgrounds in a manner that also developed their strength of character then they could achieve results as good as their more advantaged peers.