Bureaucracy Reference Group

The Bureaucracy Reference Group works with the Department for Education to help cut down unnecessary administration of schools and children’s services.

Terms of reference

The Bureaucracy Reference Group helps the Department for Education (DfE) and local authorities to simplify their management of schools and children’s services. It also consults the Association of Directors of Children’s Services.

The group’s aim is to help reduce:

  • unnecessary detail in documents and communications
  • commissioning unnecessary evidence
  • unnecessary regulations for schools and children’s services
  • processes that will require teachers to take time away from teaching

It encourages better communication so that teachers, schools and children’s services professionals:

  • can access guidance on their statutory obligations easily
  • receive guidance and communications that are easy to read and understand
  • get simple instructions on how to provide the data DfE and local authorities need to hold schools and children’s services accountable
  • are clear about DfE’s policies on essential teaching areas

Meeting dates

The group meets 6 times per year subject to the availability of members.


The Reducing Bureaucracy Group is made up of primary, secondary and special school headteachers and teachers. It also includes business managers and governors from schools and academies.

Current members are:

  • John Martin (Chair): Headteacher - Bacon’s College, Rotherhithe, London (secondary academy)
  • Kate Dethridge (Vice Chair): Headteacher - Churchend Primary Academy, Tilehurst, Reading (primary academy)
  • Barry Blakelock: Assistant Headteacher - The Aquinas Church of England Education Trust, Bromley (secondary academy)
  • Thomas Campbell: Headteacher - Fullhurst Community College, Leicester (secondary foundation school)
  • Bill Dennison: Chair of Governors - Park View Academy, Chester-le-Street, County Durham (secondary academy)
  • Cecilia Emery: Company Secretary - Saint Robert Lawrence Catholic Academy Trust, Nottingham (secondary academy)
  • Peter French: Assistant Headteacher - Cockermouth School, Cumbria (secondary community school)
  • Deborah James: Headteacher - Crosshall Infant School, St Neot’s, Cambridgeshire (primary academy)
  • Karen Jones: Assistant Headteacher - North Kesteven School, North Hykeham, Lincolnshire (secondary academy)
  • Rosemary Joyce: Headteacher - Tonbridge Grammar School, Kent (secondary academy)
  • Helen Richardson: Headteacher - John Blow Primary School, Newark (primary community school)
  • Dave Riddick: Director of Operations - Hinchingbrooke School, Huntingdon (secondary academy)
  • Barry Thacker: Chair of Governors - The Brigg Infant School, South Normanton, Derbyshire (primary community school)