Gary joined Southampton Education School in July 2021, having completed his doctorate at the University of Oxford. His doctoral research examined collaborations between a wide range of organisations (private, public and third sector) and academics working across the University of Oxford, to understand how effective learning took place within them.
Alongside this, he worked with UCL and college teams on a project to develop opportunities between students in East London FE colleges and business.
His research built on his extensive experience of developing, leading and managing collaborations as an educational and training development officer in the British Army. After progressing through a variety roles, in the UK and overseas, he was appointed Director Educational and Training Services (professional head of his branch of the Army), later becoming Director Educational Capability (pan-Army lead for a broad portfolio of educational policy, development and delivery), as a brigadier. During this four-year tenure, he made particular contributions to apprenticeships, literacy and numeracy, and the extensive development of personal development opportunities for Army personnel, from Level 1 awards up to postgraduate qualifications (working with a number of university partners). Whilst he was Director, the Army won the Adult Learners’ Week National Employer of the Year Award and became a Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer.
He gave evidence in the House of Commons to the Inquiry into Adult Literacy and Numeracy. Gary was awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (in Bosnia) in 1998 and was made a CBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours.