Who is The Family Commission?

Click on the names in the left hand column to read more about each of the Commissioners.

Sir William S Atkinson

Head of Phoenix High School, West London

Born in Jamaica, Sir William moved to Britain at the age of seven. His first teaching appointment was in Portsmouth and he has been head at Phoenix High School in Shepherds Bush since 1995. He previously held headships at Cranford Community School, Hounslow, and Copland Community School, Brent.

His excellent leadership at Phoenix, overcoming low results and bad behaviour, was reported to have been the inspiration for the head teacher character in the BBC’s school drama, Hope and Glory.

Last year, Ofsted inspectors praised Sir William’s role in the school’s continuing improvement: “The school is exceptionally well led by a charismatic, indefatigable head teacher who receives excellent support and challenge from a fully committed governing body,” said the inspectors.

Besides teaching, Sir William has been involved in a number of organisations and panels. He has sat on the Home Office Justice Task Force and the Home Office London Youth Crime Reduction Task Force and the then DfEE Standards Task Force from 1997 to 2001 when he chaired a number of sub groups covering Schools in Challenging Circumstances. He is also a member of the British Board of Film Classification advisory panel on children’s viewing and until 2006 was a member of the London Black and Minority Ethnic Cracking Crime Partnership Board.

Sir William has also been widely featured in the media, most recently in the Channel 4 documentary series ‘The Unteachables’. He has also contributed to a range of television and radio programmes, including Newsnight, Panorama, BBC Question Time, Breakfast Television and the BBC, The One Show.

Sir William was made a knight in June 2008 in the Queen’s birthday honours, for his “services to education and community”.

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