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James Biddulph


Headteacher of The University of Cambridge Primary School


+ 44 (0) 01223 330131


  • 1995-98 BA (Hons) English literature and music, Durham University
  • 2000-01 PGCE, University of Cambridge
  • 2001-09 Teacher, Ranelagh Primary School, London
  • 2003-05 MA music education, University of London’s Institute of Education
  • 2008-10 MEd educational research, University of Cambridge
  • 2009 Deputy headteacher, Daubeney Primary School, London
  • 2010-11 Deputy headteacher, Newport Primary School, London
  • 2010-present PhD, University of Cambridge
  • 2011-12 NPQH, National College for School Leadership
  • 2012-14 Headteacher, Avanti Court Primary School, Essex
  • 2015 Headteacher, University of Cambridge Primary School

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As part of the Eddington development, the new University of Cambridge Primary School aims to provide an inspiring learning community that is the first of its kind in the UK. The school will offer a high quality education for children, from Reception to Year 6, that is ambitious, innovative and inclusive for all. The aim is to nurture our children and community to be compassionate citizens.

A unique feature of the school will be the combination of primary education with a purpose-built research facility and the provision of professional learning for teachers. The school will also work closely with the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education in the provision of placements for initial teacher education trainees, and with the Faculty and school partners in the conduct of learning-related research.

James started his career in education in the foothills of Nepal following a degree in English and Music from the University of Durham. Following his PGCE teaching qualification, he worked in Stratford, East London, where his passion for music, the arts and creativity led him to being awarded the London Outstanding New Teacher of the Year in 2003. As well as a class teacher he gained Advanced Skills Teacher status, spending several years supporting the development of primary and secondary teachers in Newham.

His first Deputy Headship was in a failing inner city school which was turned around within 18 months. Following this success, he joined another failing school, also successfully removed from 'special measures', before becoming the first Headteacher of Avanti Court. During this time, he modelled the importance of life long learning and following the completion of two Masters' degrees, he completed his PhD at Cambridge University. The focus was on the diverse diversities of creative learning in ethnic minority immigrant children's family homes.

Academic Area/Links

  • The Headteacher’s role will develop and evolve as the school grows.

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Research Topics

  • Creativity and creative learning
  • Culture and Intercultural practice
  • Curriculum
  • Arts-based research and methodologies
  • Pupil Voice and agency
  • Teacher professional development

James Biddulph

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