John founded PEAS in 2004 after visiting Uganda and discovering the huge need for secondary education.

After speaking to the children about their aspirations for the future, John was shocked to learn that very few of the children there expected to continue to secondary school. He discovered that a severe lack of affordable places in secondary schools meant that there was no way these children’s families could afford for them to continue their education.

Across the world, two-thirds of all illiterate people are women. In Sub-Saharan Africa, less than 25% of girls access secondary education. If you’re thinking the two must be linked, then you’re absolutely right.

Inspired to gain professional experience in the education sector, John then spent two years teaching secondary school maths as part of the Teach First scheme. Based on the success of that first school in Kampala, John developed an innovative model to provide sustainable, affordable, high quality secondary education to Ugandan children. And so PEAS was born.

In 2005, John left teaching to concentrate on PEAS, and was working part time for PEAS while supply-teaching, when he won an Unltd Level 2 Award which helped fund the growth of what was then just a one-school charity. Three years after first travelling to Uganda, John now had the start-up to grow the organisation and scale up the model, and thus employed his first staff in Kampala.

In 2008, with the support of many private donors, PEAS opened Onwards and Upwards Secondary School in Wakiso District close to Kampala, and Forest High School in Mubende District - the first two PEAS schools.

John is a Teach First Ambassador, has won an Unltd Award for Social Entrepreneurship and was named in the Courvoisier Future 500 as one of five young leaders in the public and social sectors.